We Who Are Rejected
With Jesus All The Rejected Become Cornerstones
by Eric Elkin
As a child growing up in Japan, Soichiro never cared for school-based learning. He was more interested in working in his father’s bicycle repair shop. From the moment he could walk until he was 15 yrs old, Soichiro worked next to his father. They would buy broken rejected bicycles for next to nothing, then repair and sell them to customers in Tokyo.
One time his school report card was so bad, he needed it to be stamped with the family seal to confirm his parents had seen it. Using the skills his father taught him, Soichiro created a forgery of his parents' seal. It worked so well, he decided to start making fake family seals for other students.
Unfortunately, each of Soichiro’s designs had a small flaw. A suspicious teacher noticed the mistake, and it led to him getting caught. When his father found out, he was not mad that his son broke the rules. The father was angry that his son was too lazy to notice the relationship between the seal pattern and the stamp.
At the age of 15, Soichiro left home and the schooling he rejected to work in a garage repairing cars in Tokyo. By the time he was 20 years old, he was helping to design race cars for his employer. The young man even developed a way to cool down engines while they were racing. It was an incredible invention for anyone, let alone a child with little education.
He left the racing car business to go out on his own. Soichiro developed a piston ring he hoped to sell to Toyota. Unfortunately, of the 30,000 piston rings he produced, only 50 were accepted for consideration. Of those 50, only 3 passed Toyota’s quality control standards. Like so many times in his life, Soichiro’s work was rejected.
Instead of giving into defeat, he returned home and to the bicycle repair business. Although this time, fueled by the designing skills he learned working with racing cars, he made innovation to the bikes. He added a motor to them.
Within a few short years, Soichiro Honda was building the best motorcycles in the world. His little company would grow and become Honda Motor Company, a multinational corporation worth billions of dollars.
Some of the greatest cornerstones in business were begun by people who were rejected over and over again. We enjoy their success stories and dream of being one of them. Unfortunately, it takes more than hard work and dedication to turn rejection into a billion dollar business. Along the way, successful innovators also need luck.
Today, reading Psalm 118, I feel a little differently about the line, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.” Maybe it’s not just about Jesus, but about us. Like a lost sheep, a leper, a divorced woman at the well, or a blind man, we who are rejected become a cornerstone of importance to God, no luck needed.
Click to read Psalm 118: 19-29
When was a time you felt rejected?
What would it take to make you feel like a cornerstone of importance?
How afraid are you of failure?
How can knowing you are of great importance impact your daily life?