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I’ve been trying to write a happy Monday for three days.

It’s not that I don’t have things in my heart to say. I do. I have jotted them down all week and I have a list of at least ten that will one day find their way out of my heart and onto my paper.

But not this Monday.

The problem is that the past month there have been a number of, well, heart aches, some people I love are hurting, and it was this Monday that they just flat weighed me down. The images of beautiful things I want to get into words on paper…I don’t have the gumption to do them. I couldn’t see them for the bad things that seemed to have been part of most of the days this past month.

So I took a drive today, a rather long one, because quite often, when I get out in the open, things move into the right perspective.

I guess you might say it’s a time when I can hear God’s voice without much interference.

As I drove today, the sky was grainy and overcast and a light rain hit my window. Out on the broad plains of nearby Central Texas, the leaves were turning, their yellow and gold and majenta void of shadow, colored flat against the clouded sun.

We need this rain, more of it than is falling, but I’d be a fool to complain.

Cattle dot most of the fields I pass by, nubbbing at the very little grass left in their late fall field. Everything is lot fed now, with bales of hay that store enough protein to keep them burping and pooping, all natural like through the fall and winter. They’ll do on the stored provender until spring changes the fields.

The sides of the road, in large swaths, are getting their last mowing for the winter, and grasses, with yellow and red seeded tassels, are cropped, lain in flat sheathes. In the three hour drive I take, I find two crews hard at work. Their John Deeres’ working in tandem, navigating all the driveway barriers and road signs, and as I watched I noticed how important it was that they work together.

The road I took today traverses a part of Texas that takes you from the Houston Gulf Coast to just short of the Hill country. Mostly two lane, there is more intimacy to the surroundings of that stretch thnt an interstate and for almost the whole distance, a main line of rail track parallels its concrete.

In a few places, it twines under or over this highway I have chosen this day to travel.

For about twenty minutes, on my trip, I raced the freight train that followed that main line, traveling in the same direction as me, strictly a moment in time, when conductor and schedule just happened to coincide with woman in car.

The train had two engines and hopper cars tell-tale graffiti, at least a mile long, it clacked on the rails just a short distance from me. I kept it’s pace and clocked the train at 60.

My road took a sharp s curve and under the tons of rail cars I went, as they thunderously continued above me. Back on the other side, I had lost ground. The bend in the road and the viaduct allowed the train more purchase in miles. Steadily it plowed on ahead of me.

As I sit here tonight, listening to that still gentle rain fall, I want to put into words what this day meant to me. There was a lot of beauty today. There was the beauty of brotherhood at work while the side roads were mowed and the robe of fall colors on a Texas prairie where blazing spring flowers will blossom in a few months. There was life giving rain and promise of the Christmas season. Mostly there was the sure knowledge that God’s more in charge than the engineer of train that can speed to its destination on tracks that will take it only where it’s supposed to go.
I realize that what I want to wish you on this Happy Monday. It’s something has been brewing in me, in that part of me where my soul sits, for that same month that I spoke of earlier, and some other times, when life has sure seemed hard. I can tell you something important I think God talked to me about today.

It wasn’t a big huge moment of blinding truth. It’s something simple and easy to lose sight of it unless you take the time to let God remind you.

Today is what you have, the good, the bad, and the indifferent. Today is all those things, not just some of them. You have to take the bad things, you do not have a choice, but while you are doing that, remember to keep your eyes open for the good things, because sure enough there are some. Life goes on, toward whatever destination God has in mind and it’s our job to look for those moments of joy or contentment, to count on them, whether the day comes with them in large or small amounts. Because it will be those very moments, even the very small ones, that make all the difference.

By Brian Passifiume

By Brian Passifiume