To Love & To Lead: Staff Discussions

SO MUCH WASTED TIME

Posted on Nov 29, 2017 by Brad Sneed, Middle School Pastor

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Growing up in the 1970 & 80’s my family was more of a Brady Bunch family than the Partridge Family.  Since both series originally ran before I really was watching sitcoms on TV, I caught them on the reruns after school. I did know who David Cassidy was though.  Leif Garrett, Donny Osmond or Robby Benson graced the cover of my aunt’s Tiger Beat Magazine each issue.  There was a lot of feathered hair, unbuttoned big collared shirts and gold necklaces in those pictures. David Cassidy was extremely popular during the shows original run from 1970-1974.  His popularity lessened after the show went off the air, even though he continued to tour, record and act over the next 40 years Cassidy would endure personal and financial troubles. He was married and divorced three times, battled alcoholism, was arrested for drunk driving and in 2015 filed for bankruptcy.  On November 23 David Cassidy passed away at the age of 67. His daughter, Katie Cassidy, tweeted…

Words can’t express the solace our family received from all the love & support during this trying time. My father’s last words were “So much wasted time”. This will be a daily reminder for me to share my gratitude with those I love as to never waste another minute....thank you.

When I saw this tweet, I was struck by his last words….”So much wasted time”. I thought about William Borden.  William Borden was heir to the Borden fortune, which was made through silver mines not milk.  William came to know  Christ through the ministry of D.L. Moody in Chicago, Il. After his high school graduation, William’s parents sent him on a trip around the world before he started college at Yale.  As he traveled Europe, Asia and the Middle East, William developed a burden for the lost and hurting people that he encountered. He informed his friends and family that he was going to become a missionary.  Upon hearing this a friend remarked, that William would  be “throwing his life away as a missionary”.  After graduating from Yale and then Princeton Theological Seminary, William bordered a ship for China as a missionary.  Because he wanted to reach the Uyghur Muslims in northwestern China, he stopped in Cairo, Egypt to learn Islam.  Within a few months of his arrival in Egypt, Borden contracted cerebral meningitis and died a few weeks later. He was 25.

As the world learned of his passing, his biography recounts that “A wave of sorrow went around the world . . . he not only gave up his fortune, but himself to be a missionary.”  As hundreds even thousands of young people read about William Borden’s life and death in the newspapers of America, they were inspired and called to follow his example in giving their lives, their future, their all to reach the nations for Christ.

The story is told that when Borden had told his parents of his decision to become a missionary he had written the word “No Reserves” in the back of his Bible.  After he graduated from Yale and turned down several high paying jobs in order to focus on his calling, he wrote “No Retreat”.  During his brief time in Egypt, he wrote “No Regrets”.

Was Borden’s life a waste? Not from God’s perspective. God used his life and death to call thousands and thousands of young men and women to leave all they had and give their lives to reach the nations with the Gospel. God did greater things through Borden’s story than He may have ever done with his life in China.

John Piper in his book, Don’t Waste Your Life, wrote in regard to the question “What Is the Essence of the Unwasted Life?”

“…… tell us then, what is the unwasted life? What does it look like? What is the essence of the unwasted life? I just mentioned it: A life that puts the infinite value of Christ on display for the world to see. The passion of the unwasted life is to joyfully display the supreme excellence of Christ by the way we live. Life is given to us so that we can use it to make much of Christ. Possessions are given to us so that by the way we use them, we can show that they are not our treasure, but Christ is our treasure. Money is given to us so that we will use it in a way that shows money is not treasure, but Christ is our treasure. The great passion of the unwasted life is to magnify Christ. Here is the text that, perhaps more than any other, governs what life is really about: In Philippians 1:20-21, Paul says, “It is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.”

William Borden's full epitaph reads: "A man in Christ/He arose and forsook all and followed Him/Kindly affectioned with brotherly love,/Fervent in spirit serving the Lord,/Rejoicing in hope,/Patient in tribulation,/Instant in prayer,/Communicating to the necessity of saints,/In honour preferring others./Apart from faith in Christ,/There is no explanation for such a life."

I pray that you will join me as I endeavor to live a life of No Reserves, No Retreats, No Regrets.

Brad Sneed

 



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