Jobe a story of grace, p.1
Jobe: A Story of Grace, p.1Brad Duncan
A Story of Grace
A short story
Copyright (c) 2015 Brad Duncan
All rights reserved
First Printing, 2015
Cover art by Kimdesigns
“Scripture quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible®,
Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973,
1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Used by permission.” (www.Lockman.org)
Job 1:1 “There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job;
and that man was blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil.”
A black stretch Cadillac SUV carrying the world’s richest man pulled up to Jobe Towers in downtown New York City. Kristian Jobe, or simply “Jobe” as everyone knew him, prepared to meet with his associates at his company’s headquarters. He had just been named to the top spot in Forbes “World’s Richest Person” issue. His company had also been listed as the wealthiest in the world in the same publication. Vincent Pinkerton, the Vice President of Jobe Industries, rushed out with an entourage of men and women wearing dark business suits to greet him.
Vincent called out, “Welcome to the number one company in the world, Mr. Jobe!”
“Thank you, Vincent. It's still just Jobe. I'm the same guy I was before a magazine decided to rank me as valuable.”
Vincent laughed as they walked toward the building. “How was your meeting at the church this morning? You know it's Monday. You don't have to go to church every day!”
Jobe replied, “We didn't go to church. I went with Father O'Malley and Pastor Taylor to help serve breakfast down at a homeless shelter in Harlem. It was very encouraging to see how the shelter is helping people. I know we give a lot to charity, but I think we're going to have to do more. There are lots of people who need additional help.”
Jobe led his small army of associates past several flashing cameras into the lobby of the building. Jobe walked straight toward the young receptionist at the front desk.
He looked at her name badge. “Good Morning, Julie. You’re new here. It's nice to meet you. I'm Jobe.”
“Good Morning, Mr. Jobe.”
He smiled, “It’s just Jobe. Is there anything you need to do your job better or more efficiently?”
“No, sir! It’s very nice to meet you, too. Everything is great here. Congratulations on being named number one on Forbes list!”
Jobe turned and raised his voice for everyone in the lobby to hear, “Congratulations to all of us. It's because of all of your hard work and God's favor we have succeeded.”
It wasn't unusual for Jobe to stop and talk to secretaries, security guards or janitors and ask if he could do anything to help them perform their jobs better. Jobe realized it was the people working at all levels in his company who made the difference between being average and being the very best.
Vincent interjected, “If we're going to stay on top we better get to the conference room. We have a meeting with our Tokyo branch in fifteen minutes.”
“Okay, Vincent. Welcome aboard, Julie. You are the first person people see when they come into Jobe Towers. Keep smiling and doing a great job!”
Only Jobe and Vincent got on the executive elevator. After the doors shut Jobe said, “A stretch caddy? You know I could have caught a cab.”
Vincent asked, “With the press and paparazzi out there we needed to make a splash. How's Jasmine?”
Jobe answered, “She's doing well. She's really excited to get home and see the kids tomorrow. It's been tough on her traveling this past week nailing down these new accounts with me. She would rather be at home being a mom than traveling around the globe, but we needed the time together.”
Vincent said, “It will all be worth it in the long run. With ten kids, you need some time alone to reconnect. But don't make it eleven! You're overbooked as it is!”
Jobe laughed. “Well, when you start with triplets they add up quickly! I don't think one more would make much of a difference at this point anyway. Jasmine is such a great mom. The love in her eyes when she's with them is priceless.”
Many local, state, and national politicians sent congratulations to Jobe throughout the day. Heads of State from other countries also reached out to congratulate him. He took it all in stride, giving God the glory and bragging on his employees. After the busy day he headed over to his hotel to pick up his wife.
Job 1:2-3 “Seven sons and three daughters were born to him. His possessions also
were 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 female donkeys, and
very many servants; and that man was the greatest of all the men of the east.”
Jobe entered his suite at the Waldorf Hotel.
Jasmine greeted him with a big hug and kiss. She gleefully exclaimed, “I've missed you today, baby!”
Jobe replied, “I've missed you too! Did you get to do any shopping?”
“Yes! I found a beautiful Oscar de la Renta gown to wear to dinner this evening.”
“Wonderful! I got a message from the kids. Brett wants us to be sure to Skype them tonight. It seems they have some sort of surprise for us. I'm not sure what it is, but he acted awfully excited.”
Jasmine smiled, “I can't wait to get home and see all of them. It's been wonderful spending the past week with you, but I miss my babies.”
Jobe took Jasmine in his arms. They shared a long, loving hug. Then he kissed her and said, “I agreed to do an interview with Pamela Barker tonight before we go eat. She'll meet us downstairs and we can do the interview on our way to the restaurant.”
Jasmine playfully said, “Everyone wants to talk to the richest man alive!”
Jobe said, “She wants to interview both of us. And I was the richest man alive when God gave me you and the kids. Everything else is just stuff.”
Pamela Barker was a rising star in the celebrity news business. She had grown from a popular internet blogger to become the biggest name in celebrity interviews. Her career had gotten a major boost when a famous singer asked his girlfriend to marry him during an interview with Pamela. Vincent set up this interview to help Jobe connect his brand with the younger generation.
Jobe and Jasmine met Pamela downstairs. After greeting one another they got into a waiting limousine. Pamela began, “Thank you so much for allowing me this interview. Will it be okay if I record our conversation?”
Jobe answered, “Of course, Pamela. Ask anything you like. And if we don't want to answer we'll simply drop you off.”
Pamela continued, “Now Mrs. Jobe...”
“It's Jasmine. And you may call him Jobe.”
Pamela replied, “Thank you. Let’s begin there. Why do you go by your last name? How did that start?”
He answered, “When I was playing sports in grade school my coaches called me by my last name. Then, when I went into the military they did the same. Everyone seemed to like calling me ‘Jobe’, so I just went with it. Trust me, it's better than some things I’ve been called!”
Pamela laughed and continued, “Your story is like a modern day fairytale. You led your high school football team to a state championship. You followed that up by going to college where you won the Heisman Trophy and led your team to two national titles. You graduated at the top of your class, but instead of going for the millions in the NFL
Jobe said, “You left out the best parts, Pamela. I married my best friend and high school sweetheart. And she's given me ten of the most fantastic kids in the world.”
Pamela continued, “Of course! I was just saving the love story that every girl dreams of for last. Jasmine, what's it like being married to the hottest guy in the news today? Word on the street is he's the front runner for this year's 'Sexiest Man Alive' issue in People magazine.”
Jasmine replied, “Most women see a handsome face and muscular body. Other women look at his wealth. I see a man who loves me for who I am.”
Pamela asked, “Do you ever worry about all the other women who would want to steal him away from you?”
Jasmine replied, “Did you hear him say we have ten kids? Not many women want to do that much laundry!”
Everyone laughed again.
Pamela observed, “I noticed you two have been holding hands ever since we left the hotel. It appears you are still in love, and that all the other women out there are out of luck. Jobe, for the kids wanting to follow in your footsteps: What do you attribute to your great success?”
“My success is 100% due to God's grace. I have been blessed with intelligence, athleticism, and wisdom, but so have many others. I’ve always done the best with what I have, but ultimately all the credit goes to God for saving me and allowing me to succeed. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
The car stopped and a voice over the intercom said, “We have arrived at the Time Warner Center.”
Pamela said, “Thank you again for allowing me the interview. I'll forward you the link to our segment. I hope we can meet again sometime.”
Jasmine replied, “Certainly, Pamela. Let the driver know where you would like to go and he'll be happy to take you there.”
Jobe added, “It was our pleasure. May God bless you, Pamela.”
The couple exited the limousine and joined their dinner party for sushi at Masa Restaurant.
After a nice evening out, the Jobes returned to their hotel suite. They hooked up the computer and a few minutes later all their kids appeared on the jumbo flat-screen along with their nanny. The kids ranged in age from the twelve-year old triplet sons to their three-year old daughter, Carly.
Everyone was happy to see one another. Jasmine and Jobe smiled and laughed as the kids told them stories about school.
Finally Jobe said, “Okay, listen up! Brett, you said earlier that you have something for me and your mom.”
He answered, “We were going to surprise you when you got home, but we can’t wait! Give us a minute to set up.”
Brett threw something over the camera and the screen went black. They could hear the kids scrambling around. A few minutes later the children reappeared. Some of them were in costumes. The older kids had their guitars and other instruments they had been learning to play. One of the kids began to read the story of the birth of Jesus. Some of the other children acted out the nativity as the story was read aloud. It ended with Carly sweetly singing the first lines of “Silent Night” before they all joined in with her.
Jobe and Jasmine clapped and cheered.
Jasmine exclaimed, “That was wonderful! You'll have to do it again for us when we get home!”
Jobe asked, “What made you do a Christmas play? It’s September!”
Brett answered, “Carly wanted to do it and we thought it sounded like fun. We had already learned to play the songs last year, so it was easy.”
Jobe said, “I’ve officially got the craziest kids in the world! I love it! Hey, let me say goodnight prayers with you. We'll be home tomorrow night! We can't wait to see you.”
Then everyone held hands and bowed their heads as Jobe prayed for his family.
Job 1:6-12 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. The Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?” Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.” The Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.” Then Satan answered the Lord, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse You to Your face. Then the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand on him.” So Satan departed from the presence of the LORD.
The next morning Jobe and Jasmine woke up excited to be heading home to California.
“I'm meeting Vincent at nine o’clock. I've got to handle a couple of things in the office here in New York, and I'm having a meeting with the board to encourage them to keep up the good work. I’ll swing by to pick you up for our two o’clock flight home.”
Jasmine replied, “Sounds great. I'll get up in a little while and get packed. Are you still going by to see Bishop Miller this morning?”
“Yes! I'm very excited to reconnect with him.”
Jobe went to the church and had a good visit with Bishop Miller. The bishop shared about the programs the church was leading that helped the neighborhood. The two men spent time praying for each other. Jobe prayed fervently for his wife and kids. He wanted to do all he could to keep his children from turning away from God as they grew older. It was a very refreshing time for Jobe to sit in the presence of the Lord.
After their time together, Jobe headed over to his office to finish his business in New York. Just as he pulled up to Jobe Towers his cell phone rang.
“Have you heard the news?!” shouted Vincent.
“No, I've been with Bishop Miller. What news?”
Vincent exclaimed, “We've lost all our investments in China! Some crazy policy the Chinese government just announced out of the blue! They're only cutting off Jobe Industries. All of our assets! Gone!”
“I’m pulling in now. I'll be right up!”
Jobe quickly walked into the building, straight to an elevator they were holding for him.
When he entered the office, people were scrambling all around. The room was filled with employees talking loudly on cell phones and yelling at one another.
Vincent grabbed Jobe by the arm as he entered his office and yelled, “China! We invested a fortune in infrastructure over there!”
“Are you sure they just shut the door? When was this announced?” asked Jobe.
“Just minutes ago. It was a total surprise. They said they are worried about our direction as a company. I guarantee they're jealous that you moved up to the top spot on Forbes list ahead of their tech guy!”
After speaking with the state department, Jobe confirmed China had indeed closed off his company from any dealings.
Jobe called for a board meeting. He said, “I know it's been a rough morning. We'll get through this. I have friends at the state department who will help us resume our accounts over there. In the meantime....”
Vincent burst through the door and yelled, “Turn on the TV! Channel 32!”
A reporter was speaking. Below him was a caption that read: “Jobe Industries loses entire oil holdings to insurgency in Arabian peninsula.”
Jobe said, “Vincent, tell me you secured the insurance on those oil reserves.”
Vincent answered, “No. No, I didn’t.
Jobe said, “I told you if it wasn't insured not to invest there.”
Vincent hung his head and answered, “I know you did. It was too much profit to turn down. I actually leveraged many of our assets here in the U.S. against the oil reserves to secure the deal. I should have told you, but I was assured the insurgents were being pacified and it wouldn't be a problem.”
Jobe spoke up, “Okay everyone. Let's figure out where we're at right now. Our stocks are obviously going to take a big hit today. Get out there and run the numbers and let's decide how we're going to get control of this situation.”
After everyone had left the room Vincent said, “I’m sorry, Jobe. I should have never went ahead with those acquisitions…”
Jobe had learned on the football field and in combat the value of encouraging others in times of crisis. He looked Vincent in the eyes, “Now isn’t the time to worry about the past. I need you to look forward and help our team make it through today. We can survive this together if we stay focused. Are you with me?”
Vincent stood up a little straighter, “Yes. I’ll do my best.”
A little while later Jobe gathered everyone together in the conference room again.
He announced, “I’ve got good news and bad news. The bad news is really bad. We've lost two-thirds of our business today, not counting the drop in our stock price which is sinking fast. The good news is over time we should be able to straighten some of this out.”
All of a sudden there was an uproar outside the conference room.
Jobe: A Story of Grace by Brad Duncan / History & Fiction have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on20 votes