Monday, April 4, 2011

Choose Your Attitude

As a rule and most of the time, I find satisfaction in my career and in the work I do. I don’t have ambitions to climb any corporate ladders, and I have no passion for power or position.

I’m a secretary.

I like what I do, and I’m good at it. And now that I’m a church secretary, I’m even happier

I often joke that, in the Body of Christ, I’m the pinkie toe. Small. Unobtrusive. Usually unseen and unnoticed. Even when your tootsies are bared in sandals, most times the pinkie toe is hidden behind a strap, or just barely peeking out. Though I make light of feeling like “just” the pinkie toe, I truly find joy being my part of the Body.

However, I confess there are days when I feel slighted, unappreciated, taken for granted, overlooked, and unheard.

And I start to feel very sorry for myself.

I pout, and I mope.

I was having one of those days when my daily Bible reading “happened to” include 2 Kings 3. The last sentence in verse 3 made me stop, and like a record skipping, my eyes read the words again and again. Each time, they spoke deeper and deeper to my heart, and I suddenly saw my situation with new eyes.

See, the kings of Judah, Israel, and Edom were united, and marching to battle through the desert. Alas, they ran out of water. King Joram of Isreal was giving up hope in God, but King Jehoshaphat of Judah, cried out, “Is there not prophet of the Lord here, that we may inquire of the Lord through him?” An officer of Israel spoke up. “Elisha, son of Shaphat.”

Elisha’s list of credits, besides his father’s name, consisted of this one other sentence:

“He used to pour water over the hands of Elijah.”

Hel — lo.

Elisha had been traveling with, assisting, observing, and studying under the great prophet Elijah for six years; surely he had many good works to recommend him as a prophet of God. But the only credit to his Godliness was his service as a humble hand servant to the prophet.

“He used to pour water over the hands of Elijah.”

As I read those 10 words over and over, I was reminded, convicted, that, even though I may not receive acclaim, or even recognition, for my good works, my servant’s heart will be remembered.

“Catrina? Oh, sure, I know who she is. The church secretary. She used to serve coffee to the homeless.”

And isn’t that how it should be? I mean, after all, they aren’t really “my” works, are they? The only thing I can claim credit for is the attitude with which I choose to accomplish the work set before me.

Of all the important things I do, which one is most worthy to recommend me to service to God? The answer is… none of them. More important than my works are the love, peace, joy, patience, kindness, gentleness and self-control I exhibit as a servant of God to His children.

More important than my work is the Jesus they see in me.

No matter what part of the body you have been given, from the head to the little toe, your work is important to the life and function of the whole. But whether you succeed or fail, your attitude and motivation will be at the forefront of your legacy.

Let them say of you, “He poured water on the hands of Elijah.”

Catrina Bradley

"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes."
Psalm 18:24 (Msg)


  1. Cat,I love the way you opened my eyes to a Scripture I hadn't thought about and challenged me to have a good attitude.

  2. Makes me WANT to be a water girl! :)
    Such great words to challenge, and yet, also to encourage us as we minister and function in the Body of Christ. Little pinky toes...they are so cute and help us balance and stand up straight and tall...sounds silly, but imagine not having them!! Eh?
    LOVE you, Cat ❤♥†♥❤

  3. Thanks Cat, for the reminder. I really needed the attitude adjustment this morning. It would be an honor for it to be said of me, "She gave a cool drink of (living) water to the children." So off I go to the classroom where 29 children await.

    Love you. :)

  4. With my luck, my entry would read: she tripped and spilled water on his hands.

    What! It sounds like someone needs an attitude adjustment:).

    Thanks Cat--love your attitude and the tone that comes through in your words--completely encouraging.

  5. I've never noticed that phrase before. Don't you love it when they POP out like that?

    Thanks for reminding me that I don't need anyone to notice what I do, but my Heavenly Father.

  6. Touche. Just yesterday at church I was disheartened. The boy I've shadowed at church for the last 4 years due to his autism, has become rather popular. People great him and ignore me.
    Hellooo Barb, think how he has felt most of his life!

  7. Lisa, you made me LAUGH! Thank you, ladies for YOUR encouragement today. I've been ready to send out invitations to a pity party.

  8. Each part is important - even the pinkie toe. Needed this reminder as well.

  9. Brilliant. And well timed, to be sure. Love this line... gotta write it on a posty note and stick it to my wall.

    "More important than my work is the Jesus they see in me."

    So simple. So profound. So important. Thanks, Cat.

  10. Wow, this is powerful, Cat. I feel like this SO often as a mom. Leave it to God's Word to keep us grounded in the Truth.

  11. Love this! I would much rather be behind the scenes doing logistics...the spotlight is too hot and makes me sweat...GRIN

  12. What a super thought! Never noticed the significance of that verse before. Now when I go out to pick up the cigarette butts that people seem to like to toss on the lawn in front of the church, I'll do it with a much more positive attitude!

    Blessings on you.

  13. Well,'re a pinky toe with a pretty daisy painted on it. What an awesome phrase you found to pull us into a reality check of who we are in God's eyes.

    BTW...if you're sending out invitations to a pity party that includes chocolate &/or lattes, I'm game. Sometimes we need the good company of a GF and a little chocolate to pull us out of the pity-pit.

  14. I'm one of those pinkie toes too. I enjoy being
    in the background, but have had some leader
    roles. I'm trying to just grow where I'm planted.
    Thanks, Cat!

  15. Thanks, Cat for shedding light on this little sentence with a huge meaning! Thanks too for the inspiration, you are a blessing! Hugs!

  16. I used to be a church secretary, too, and I know that it isn't a Monday - Friday job. No way! lol. I know the people love you and wouldn't know what to do without you.

    Great post, though. We all are needed in whatever we do - whether great or small.

    Love you, Catrina, dear. Hugs and Kisses. mwamwamwa:)

  17. I remember a Touched By An Angel episode, and a scene where Monica says she'd be willing to clean the bubble gum off the bottom of the seats in God's theater, to be a janitor in His house than to be without Him. I love your thoughts here, Cat! :) No matter what job we are assigned, it's all important in His plan.

  18. Cat, how awesome. This is just a wonderful piece about something that affects us all. Thanks so much for taking the time to share it. Love you.

  19. You've discovered and shared a true picture of contentment that will help us keep on keepin' on - with or without the appreciation.
    Thanks, Cat. What a blessing to read these posts each day.



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