cubicles in an anonymous workplaceI 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.

Proverbs 16:9

Jeremiah 29:11

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Copyright 2012 The Journey Man


By Gene

I am a lover, a fighter, and a midnight writer. I love football, hamburgers, and philosophical inquiries. I love Jesus more than any of that. I love my wife, my daughters, my grandson, and my English Setters, Huck and Finn. I also love Huck Finn...and other seminal characters in American literature. Like Gus McCrae. I love the English language. I love to dive into the wonders of its depth and splash around in the shallow end where colloquialisms and slang rule and reign.
  • Terry


    I certainly would have enjoyed you mentoring me (although I'm just a little past the 20 something crowd). I know you are a good adjuster, a good man and I bet a good teacher. While it could be that His plan is that your wife and kids move to Mobile, I'm betting that He will find a place for you and a welcoming church in Texas. Whatever His plan is, I know it will be good! I really enjoy reading your "stuff" and the humor that you add to it. You're very talented…….now, if you could just bake chocolate chip cookies. 🙂

    • Thank you, Terry. I do have an inside track on pretty doggone good homemade cookies and such.

  • Mrs. Rick Austin

    I too believe the sovereignty of God trumps the stupidity of man. I am more thankful for that everyday. I love following the life of you and your sweet family. I love reading from one who really knows how to "turn a phrase" while cutting right to the heart. I love that you and Donya miss each other, love each other, your kids and grandkids….I love that God has allowed my heart to be ministered to in ways I would have never imagined. I love that He has holy plan and purpose when others have counted us out. He set you in that place, with those people, in His power for His glory…continue on my friend…

    • Faith,

      If anything I say ministers to someone I respect as much as you, then I am honored. Watching you soldier on with the love of your life gone on to Glory is a life lesson in faith. You live up to your well-deserved reputation and you honor the good and accurate first name your parents gave you.

      God bless you and yours.

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