Beyond Self

"Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the LORD with all his might." - 2 Samuel 6:14

I always awestruck when I see somebody goes beyond the realm of self. And immediately inside of me a small still voice starts to echo, "Can you see that?" And my soul replies "I have no strength for that, that person must have your grace in abundance." William Whiting Borden is one of these memorable people. In 1904 for his high school graduation present, his parents gave 16-year-old Borden a trip around the world. As the young man traveled through Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, he felt a growing burden for the world's hurting people. Finally, Bill Borden wrote home about his "desire to be a missionary. One friend expressed disbelief that Bill was "throwing himself away as a missionary." He was a Yale alumni and a millionaire but his hearts desire was in a different place.

William Borden went on to do graduate work at Princeton Seminary in New Jersey. When he finished his studies at Princeton, he sailed for China. Because he was hoping to work with Muslims, he stopped first in Egypt to study Arabic. While there, he contracted spinal meningitis. Within a month, 25-year-old William Borden was dead. When the news of his death was cabled back to the U.S., the story was carried by nearly every American newspaper. "A wave of sorrow went round the world. Some might think his untimely death was a waste? To the contrary his incredible story inspired ten's of thousands to be missionaries by following his lifetime motto,. "No Reserves. No Retreats. No Regrets."

That was what I had observed this morning in the church. Two young recently wed Indians convert to Christianity, highly educated and from very rich families, were laid hands by the elders of the church and commissioned as missionaries in some remote area of the country, where there might not be tap water, electric light and good indian food. Although the leadership of the church expressed their desire for them to serve in the city, however they insisted their heart is not here but far in the mission field. The young missionary husband said, they have already visited the area and rented a house. And he jokingly mentioned, "His 'Anita' that's his wife, when she saw the place she cried three times but now she is okey."

Let's all strive by the grace of the Lord to live an extraordinary life which exceeds self and impacts the lives of many positively. A life which might not be easily erased from the memories of the generation to come.

Love and blessings

Brehane-meskel Araya