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A Flat Tire and the Existence of God

existence of god

While attending our family’s Fourth of July picnic, son number three — a certified mechanic — noticed that one of our car tires had a nail in its sidewall. IN THE SIDEWALL? Yes, in the sidewall. Not right at where the sidewall meets the tread either. This nail was embedded halfway between the tread and rim. I spent more time than I should have pondering how a nail ended up in the tire’s sidewall. On the tread? Sure. But, the sidewall? I concluded that it was likely someone vandalized the tire. I texted my son, thanking him for getting a new tire for us, and telling him that I believed someone vandalized the tire. He replied:

No problem. I’ll do what I can do when I can do it.  Yeah, seems a li’l fishy to me. I mean it’s possible, but highly unlikely LOL.

I replied, that’s what I say about God “Yeah, seems a li’l fishy to me. I mean it’s possible, but highly unlikely LOL.”

We both laughed.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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  1. Avatar

    If it had been something amazing that happened, religious folks would say, “OMG, it’s a miracle!” For something not so good, “God works in mysterious ways – he allowed you to see the nail before you had a flat tire while driving. Praise God.”

    My husband is a mathematician. He talks about how many unlikely things are possible, just not probable. The possibility of the nail being embedded in that location occurring during driving conditions exists in very specific circumstances, but it is very unlikely – very improbable. Just like the existence of the evangelical Christian god.

  2. Avatar
    MJ Lisbeth

    Bruce, that nail in the sidewall is a testament to your skills as a driver. You turned in a space so tight that the car was practically on its side. But God didn’t want you to take too much pride in your skills, He put that nail in the your path but didn’t let you get a flat just to show who’s really in charge. After all, he gave you the skills to be a Hollywood stunt-double driver!

    (Snark-o-meter registers Code Orange. But I might’ve offered such an explanation, with a straight (!) face, in my Evangelical days!)

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Bruce Gerencser