Pause for Thought – a five minute read – Week 35

Matthew, Mark, Luke and John

Bill Brown

Bill Brown sat at his desk in the Post Section of United Insurance Ltd. It was exactly 9.0am and he had followed the same routine as he had done on the average day for the past 30 years.

His fingers played with the edges of the letter that lay in front of him on the desk. It was a letter that he had extracted from a plain brown envelope. The envelope was not there when he left the office on the previous evening, but was there this morning when he arrived.

There was a name typed on the front of the envelope and it read, ‘Mr. B. Brown (Post Section).

Bill Brown was a Bill, not a William. His birth certificate read; – First name – Bill.

 Christian name– Brown. Fathers name – Bill Brown. Mothers name – Mary Brown.

Bill’s grandfather was Bill Brown and so was his father, in fact all first born sons of the Brown dynasty were Bill.

No one could describe Bill as being exceptional; he was the epitome of average. He never did anything wrong but paradoxically he did nothing that could be described as brilliant. His school report listed all subjects were average, and this was reflected in his exam results, average.

Leaving school at 15 years old, found him working as an office junior at United Insurance Ltd., where he remained all his working life.

He married Marjorie when he and she were 21 and they purchased a small three bedroomed semi- detached house in a suburban estate on the edge of Leeds, where they still live today. They have two children, a 17 year old son, Bill, and a 15 year old daughter, Susan.  

Bill Brown could be described as an average man, in an average job, with an average family living in an average house, but this morning everything could change.

He had read the letter once and now read it again a second time to make sure he had read it correctly. It didn’t change no matter how many times he read each word.

The letter set out the terms of his redundancy very clearly and concisely.

At 5.0pm Bill turned his Ford Fiesta out of the car park and headed towards home although his mind was elsewhere. What would Marjorie say? How would the children react? What would he do with his life without United Insurance?

Marjorie was very sympathetic, saying, ‘Don’t worry dear. The money is good and I’m sure you will find something else’.

Bill junior smiled and said, ‘Does that mean we can buy a BMW with the money?’

Susan, on the other hand was a little more constructive in her thoughts. ‘We must find you something else to do’ she advised.

Bill appreciated her enthusiasm but he had no experience of practically anything outside the Post Room of United Insurance.

Susan thought for a few minutes contemplating the skills and abilities at her father’s disposal, then, in a burst of a Eureka moment she exclaimed, ‘You can write a book’.

A frown crept across Bill Brown’s forehead as he thought a book about what?

Susan was prepared for his response. ‘You could write a book called, ‘The Average Man’s Guide to Being Average in an Average World’ it would be a best seller’.

There is a line in a song from the musical ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ where the disciples sing, ‘When we retire we can write a gospel and they will all talk about us when we are dead’.

They are reacting to Jesus explaining his destiny and his prophesised journey to the cross.

I don’t believe that Tim Rice wrote these words disrespectfully, but using artistic licence to portray the disciple’s realisation that Jesus was soon to leave them on their own. The events that would soon unfold before their eyes will be so life changing and crucial to God’s creation that they must be written down for posterity.

Each Gospel is written in a different style suitable and relevant for a specific reading audience, Jews, Greeks, Gentiles and everyone.

The disciples knew that they had to reach out with the Good News of Jesus Christ, not just to a favoured few but to all people, the average person be they Jews, Greeks, Gentiles and everyone.

Let us not forget that the disciples were themselves average people, but through Jesus Christ they redefined the definition to everyone who has ears must hear.

Bill Brown wrote several books including; ‘The average man’s Guide to DIY’; ‘The Average Mans Guide to Home First Aid’, and ‘The Average Mans Guide to Making an Insurance Claim’.

All his books had average success and he sold an average number of copies.

Derek T.