It was a beautiful Fall day in the Ozarks. The trees were beginning to turn. The air was velvety, the sun was shining.

My brothers and I were walking down the hill along the paved county highway beside our farm. At the bottom of the hill was a bridge over the river that formed the boundary of our property.

We could have gone through the pasture and the woods to get to the river but the road seemed to be the easier path as the woods were quite dense and over-grown with brush.

I was eleven or twelve years old and I must have been feeling good. I expressed my satisfaction with life in general as we walked down the hill with a little dance that ended with a high, high kick.

My other foot slid out from under me and for a moment I seemed to hang suspended between heaven and earth. Then I fell. Hard. Flat on my back.

The air was literally knocked out of me and for a time I couldn't talk, couldn't cry, couldn't even breathe.

I thought I was dying. My shock and outrage at the unfairness of it all was such that I didn't even feel any pain. I just felt empty. No air. No life.

“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (Genesis 2:7) 

I think I understand a little how Adam felt at that moment when life-giving air flowed into his body. Except Adam probably didn't hurt as much as I did.

I had hit my head on the asphalt pavement. I had twisted my ankle. I had jarred every bone in my skeleton. When my lungs re-inflated and air flowed back into my body, the awareness of pain came with it.

With the pain, though, came the awareness that I was not dead. I wasn't going to die. I just lay there for a few minutes, listening to my brothers laughing at me, then I got up and went my way.

Funny I should remember that incident all these years later. I was reviewing the twists and turns my life has taken in the last year and a half.

I've gotten older, of course, and in many ways it seems that things have gone steadily downhill. There have been a few occasions that I have celebrated and a few occasions when I've fallen flat.

But I'm still alive. Air keeps flowing in and out of my lungs. I have noticed that each time I've fallen, if I just wait a little and let my sense of panic dissipate, I can get back up and go on my way.

I think about Adam, my scriptural ancestor. Maybe he did feel pain when God breathed the breath of life into him. Maybe he actually felt his lungs inflate and his muscles throb as oxygen-bearing blood flowed through them.

Pain is a part of human life. But it doesn't define human life. The Bible doesn't tell us that Adam became a hurting soul. It tells us that he became a “living” soul.

Pain is incidental. We all experience it from time to time and to varying degrees. We all fall down.

Then we take a deep breath and get up and go our way. We're just glad to be alive.

Author's Bio: 

I am a Baby Boomer myself and a newbie internet entrepreneur focusing on the Baby Boomer generation because I spent sixteen years serving as pastor in United Methodist congregations all over Kansas. Those congregations were made up primarily of Baby Boomer or older members, so I have developed some expertise with the Baby Boomer generation. I am now on leave of absence and living in Atchison, Ks. with my thirty-year-old son and two cats. I also help my daughter, also living in Atchison, with three sons, ages 9, 7, and 22 months, while their father is in Afghanistan. My blogs are found at