My cart was filling right up. I had gone through all the aisles and finished all my shopping except for visiting the fresh meat section. I reached for the family pack of fresh boneless chicken breast. Just as I lifted the package from the case it became evident that there was a large tear in the package and the juices from the chicken poured through my fingers. I reached for the container of handy wipes provided for situations like this but it was empty. The only thing available was a roll of paper towels.
I tried not to think about all the germs that now were all over my hands. I took some extra paper towels and held onto my cart with them. As I reached the cashier to check out I apologized for the package of chicken as I handed it to her all wrapped in paper towels. She could see the quandary on my face and she reached into her pocket and sweetly handed me her bottle of hand sanitizer. I was so thankful and immediately began to sanitize my hands.
I got to thinking about how often I reach for my own little bottle of hand sanitizer and I realized that I use it a lot. I do not think I am alone in this. After a service of shaking many hands we quickly put some in our palms to wash the “fellowship” off. As soon as we reach our car after walking through a hotel lobby touching elevator buttons and doorknobs, we again reach for the little bottle to sanitize our hands. If we worked together we could fill a book with all the reasons to grab the hand sanitizer. I would have used my own that day but I was afraid to search through my purse for it and end up contaminating everything else in it’s way.
It was then that I began to think of our hearts and our minds. How often have we seen, heard, and experienced circumstances that ultimately contaminates our thoughts and feelings bringing poison into our lives? Did we immediately use some method to sanitize ourselves? We quickly do so when our hands come in contact with an unclean surface but can we all take a moment to realize the damage done to our hearts, minds, and souls when we leave them “as is” after an encounter with the unclean?
Prayer is such an effective sanitizer. The next time that you or I reach for the bottle of hand sanitizer why don’t we take a moment and say a prayer to sanitize our hearts and minds as well.