The photo is of Charles and Frank Duryea with their third automobile which was the first to use pneumatic tires, circa 1895.
According to “This Day in History,” it was in December of 1892 that Alexander Brown and George Stillman of Syracuse, New York, patented an inflatable automobile tire. Before the pneumatic tire, wheels were often made of solid rubber. This made travel a bumpy experience. After all, the streets of 1892 were made of dirt or cobblestone. Some horse-drawn carriages had been made with inflatable tires, but Brown and Stillman got the first patent for pneumatic automobile tires.
Smoother rides are something we all look forward to. I remember bouncing from the wagon seat as my uncle’s mule pulled our wagon to the corn field. The hard wooden wheels provided little cushion as we moved across the corduroy like bumps in the sun hardened red clay tracks which led to the field.
Today, we seem preoccupied with “smooth sailing,” a euphemism for life going along at a comfortable pace with little conflict. But the fact of life is that “...in this life we shall have tribulations.” Scripture continually proclaims that one need not be overcome by the complexities or perplexities of life, but that the genuine Believer in Christ can have a sense of smoothness, no matter the bumps encountered.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “In all things give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” It is encouraging for me to know that nothing befalls me without the knowledge and permission of God. The same God who created the heavens and the earth desires to make my path smooth. This is not some sort of fatalistic defeatism. It is rather an enthusiastic embracing of the promise of God that even though I might walk through the darkness of the valley, He is there comforting and guiding my steps.
Just as pneumatic tires made automobile travel more comfortable; so one’s faith in Jesus Christ, and His leadership, makes the bumps of life easier to take and more meaningful.
From "A Word For Living" © 2005 Mike Rasberry