I recently welcomed to my cubicle a new inhabitant. I have now served as cube mate and mentor (do as I say, not as I do) to all three members of a trio of twenty-something friends. When this dawned on me and I pointed it out to the newcomer, he responded by calling my little square in this maze of drab cubicles “Cube Gene.”
I liked it. Or, I did for a minute.
Then, I felt its sting.
I have now been in Mobile, Alabama for 14 months and counting. I never expected this very temporary gig to last more than a month, three at the most. I am thankful to have found a niche and carved out a place for myself here. I am glad to still have this chair that is coveted by so many catastrophe adjusters, who stand by, waiting for deployment.
That said, Cube Gene is no Club Med. Nor is it exactly where I envisioned myself being as I tore past 50. If you had told me, say, 20 years ago, that I would be mentoring twenty-somethings and answering incessant phone calls from insureds, agents, contractors and assorted others associated with an insurance claim on a homeowner’s policy, I would have assumed you were a) a false prophet, b) a silly jokester or c) outside your mind.
You were none of those. You were absolutely right.
I have—through a series of unfortunate events and dubious choices—traded a pulpit for a cubicle. I have traded mentoring, ministering and pastoring Christ-seekers for haggling, wrangling and smoothing the ruffled feathers of catastrophe-sufferers. (Though, “catastrophe-sufferer” is a relative term, since, so often, one man’s catastrophe is another man’s tree limb on a fence or spoiled food in a fridge.)
My plight sounds worse than it is, I think. I’m not complaining. There is more ministry to be done in a cubicle than one might imagine. That helps to fill the void. And a fair amount of mischief can be gotten into, as well, which keeps me entertained.
Cube Gene isn’t all bad. It is better than Cardboard Sign-Holding Gene…by a long shot. And, despite the oft-painful road that led me from there to here, it is, I believe (because I believe the sovereignty of God trumps the stupidity of man), all part of His master plan, the big picture.
From my seat, I cannot see so much as the layout of these cubes. I just see the three and a half walls surrounding me and, through the window atop one of those walls, down the aisle on which I sit.
From God’s vantage point, He sees the layout of the cubes and the life beyond, which for we mortals can be more difficult to discern than a Rubic’s cube. He sees the layout of my life—past, present, future. While I am locked in this moment, He is sticking to His plan because, well, He is omniscient and omnipotent and as such, no plan alterations are necessary.
What I see as annoying interruptions or disheartening detours or downright dead ends, He sees as just a part of the map that leads to where He’s leading me.
Where is that?
I don’t know. Neither do you.
But, as the old song reminds me, “My Lord knows the way through the wilderness. All I have to do is follow. Strength for today is mine all the way and all that I need for tomorrow.”
Where this is all headed is yet to be determined. For now, I am manning my station, sharing my limited insight and doing my part at Cube Gene.