A Wasted Life or a Worthy One?

This is an excerpt from my upcoming book, What Are You Going to Do With Your Life?, which releases TODAY! Get your copy here!

If you live a life of radical obedience, not everyone is going to praise you. Many whom you love and trust will question your motives. And because you threaten the status quo, you should be prepared to deal with opposition from places you never expected it. From friends. For some, from your parents. Religious leaders. Some will act like in obeying him, you are betraying them.

That’s why you have to keep your eyes fixed firmly on the One beside the throne, the One standing ready to receive you home.

Because his standing ovation outweighs their scorn. He’s worth it.

In 1904, William Borden graduated from high school. He was the heir to the Borden family fortune. At the time, the Borden Milk Company was one of the most profitable businesses in the United States, which would have made young William one of the richest men in the country. Upon graduation, his parents gave him a luxurious graduation gift—a trip across the globe.

Something happened on that trip, however, that his parents were not anticipating. Borden became overwhelmed by the world’s lostness. He couldn’t get over the masses of people with no chance of hearing the gospel. Borden was a new believer, and he wanted to do something about it.

William told his father that he didn’t want to take on the family business. He wanted to be a missionary. His parents were furious, but William told them that he would divert any inheritance he received into the mission. Some of William’s Christian friends even told him, “You’re throwing everything away. You’re wasting your life!”

But Borden wouldn’t be dissuaded. After graduating from the University of Yale and then Princeton Seminary, he climbed aboard a boat headed for China.

Because Borden intended to work with Muslims in China, he stopped in Egypt to spend time learning Arabic. One month after arriving, however, he contracted spinal meningitis and died. He was 25 years old.

Back in the United States headlines proclaimed the tragic news. The stories echoed the advice Borden’s friends and family had given him: What a waste of a life!

But Borden didn’t think so. As the story goes, while on his deathbed, someone asked if he had any final words. He pulled out his Bible, turned to a blank page at the back, and wrote, “No regrets.”

From the perspective of the world, Borden’s life was wasted. From the perspective of eternity, it wasn’t. His was not a wasted life, but a worthy one.

William Borden is buried in a small cemetery in Cairo. The cemetery is so out of the way that if you don’t know what you are looking for, you’ll never find it. His tombstone is bunched up among many others, and the writing on it so faint you can barely read it. But if you get down real close you can make out a single sentence: “Apart from faith in Christ, there is no explanation for such a life.”

Apart from faith in Christ, there is no explanation for such a life.

Will that be true of your life?

What are you going to do with your life? Are you going to use it in a way that only makes sense if eternity is real and the gospel is true?

We have to make up our minds: If Christ is risen, then nothing invested into his kingdom is ever wasted. If he’s risen, everything we invest anywhere else is.

Only one life to live, ’twill soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Do you believe this?

Will you adopt it as your personal credo?

If you do, then live in such a way that it will one day be said of you: Apart from faith in Christ, there is no explanation of such a life.

Because only by a life lived like that will you be able to say in the end, “Worth it.”