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It is a beautiful Sunday morning here in South Carolina. Unfortunately, I am tucked away inside my home recuperating from a couple of nasty falls I had this week. Yes, I did say a couple.

I don’t know what happened. I have often told funny stories of some of the falls I have taken over my forty-eight years. I have always laughed about how graceful I “went to the ground.” It seems I am not so graceful anymore. I guess age does have something to do with the matter.

I remember the Sunday in 1982 when I was a freshman at what was then called Southeastern College. I had a new pair of cowboy boots (yes, this was during the Urban Cowboy period). Back then, lots of guys were wearing their boots with their suits and such. I had gotten this new pair of burgundy wonders when I was a senior in high school back in Dillon, South Carolina.  Anyway, I had attended Lakeland, Florida‘s First Assembly of God, and I had gotten back to campus and headed over to the cafeteria. Here I am in my best suit, my burgundy cowboy boots, looking pretty good (as I remember), standing in line at the cafeteria holding a tray of food. You guessed it!  I stumbled on something….or was it a slip? Anyway, my feet went out from under me, the tray went back over my head, and I fell flat on my back! Embarrassed? Uh….yes!  What is one to do in that situation? You get up, and get back in the chow line.

I also remember the time in 1984 when I had started my professional music career. I had started playing piano for the Joe Russell Band based out of Dublin, Virginia. Yes, I still had the boots…and I had them on. We were playing gospel music in those days, and I remember very well being in a Sunday morning service at a pretty-good sized church in Dalton, Georgia. The church was packed. Everyone was in their place, and I enter the sanctuary through a small door in the front of the church just near the piano. To enter the sanctuary, you had to come through this door, and walk down a small ramp. I did not realize the ramp had a rug on it! I mean, who puts a rug on a ramp for a 300 pound guy in cowboy boots to walk down? So here I come. Several hundred people watching me come through the door, then start down the ramp, then the rug slips, and…..you guessed it…..then those darn boots get tangled-up in that rug, and here I go again. Pow! I tried to ride the wave; however, there was no doing it! I went head-first right under the pew on the front row. Embarrassed? Uh…yes! What is one to do in that situation?

Now, any sane person would have thrown those durn boots away. Remember, I did say “sane.” Later that same year, we are in Nashville, Tennessee getting ready to make our first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry show. We were doing the gospel music portion, and was I ever excited!  As were were leaving the hotel to get on the tour bus, I decided to take a short-cut down a small bank.  Did I say, small “damp” bank? And yes, I had on the boots!!  Here I go down this small bank. Clean-pressed clothes ready for the biggest engagement of my musical career and I end up sliding down that bank on my rear! Wet, muddy, and now planning to be late for the Grand Ole Opry! I get on the bus, clean-up as best as I can, and put on whatever clothes I can find. We get to the Opry, do our song, (and no I did not fall walking on stage)! Boy, wouldn’t that have been a story?

I cannot tell you how many times I have fallen since 1979 when I first bought that pair of boots. Oh, as I changed careers and got into the financial world, I traded in my cowboy boots for the leather-bottomed wing tips in the industry. I had my share of falls in those shoes as well. Never really got hurt. You know, just a slip here, a trip there, and nothing too serious.

So…here I am this past Wednesday night. It has been raining pretty much all week. My wife, Joyce, and I are on our way to prayer meeting and she needs some gas. We had a bit of extra time, so I tell her to pull into the gas station, and I will get the gas before service. I pay the attendant and head back towards the car. Maybe it was the gas prices that knocked me off my feet. Maybe it was the wet concrete mingled with some oil and gas. I don’t know….maybe it was the boots I was wearing!  Now before you say anything, it was NOT the same boots from 1979 (I still have those hidden away in my closet)! This time I had on a pair I bought in Texas a few years back. They actually aren’t boots…they’re called “Cow-Dogs.” They are boots that are made like a shoe. When you stand, it looks as if you have on boots; however, they really are shoes. Very, very comfortable, and I always wear them in bad weather and when I wear jeans.  I took a pretty nasty fall. Face first this time. The concrete was pretty tough on me. No cuts, only bruises, sprains, and a pulled leg muscle.  I have not hired a lawyer, and do not intend to. I take full responsibility for my actions. Besides, I’m sure there are video clips of that fall somewhere at the gas station. I probablyneed to try to get my hands on that tape!

Now you know why my wife is at church and I am sitting here telling you this little story of mine about how I have fallen through life.  Yes, I have literally fallen more than my share. But, I have also had some good falls as well. I fell in love with my wife. That was a great fall! I fell in love with my two precious granddaughters, that was a sweet fall. Most importantly, I fell in love with Jesus, and that was an awesome fall! I keep falling in love with Him more and more each and every day! I thank God by the Precious Blood of Jesus that I am rooted and grounded in the Mighty Love of God!

And, did I forget to tell you that I also fell in the bedroom again this past Friday night?  Oh well, that is another story for another time! I think I am beginning to fall asleep.

Brian Raines


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