I’m not a fan of mushrooms, nor have I ever been. The slimy texture, weird smell, knowledge that many of them are poisonous, and having to learn about their reproductive systems in high school biology just really make them a turn-off for me. They honestly kind of gross me out–call me a picky eater, but it’s true. But the other day, I accidentally ate a mushroom, or a least a dish that had them in it.
At the time, I did not know that the chicken and noodle dish had mushrooms in the dark sauce, so I scooped myself up a good-sized portion for dinner. I was in a rush, trying to finish Tuesday’s blog post to schedule it for the next day, and didn’t even bother to turn the kitchen lights on as I scooped out my food into a bowl and returned to my computer. As I was eating and typing, I began to notice an unusual taste mixed in with the grilled chicken and noodles. When I looked down into my bowl in the light of the room I was in, lo and behold, there was a sliced mushroom, staring back up at me. I almost gagged and set the bowl down as quickly as I could, resolving to give my leftovers to my dad (who likes mushrooms for some odd reason) and to make myself a PB&J sandwich.
As I began thinking over how this could have happened, how on earth I could have had a mushroom in my food and not noticed it, I remembered that I scooped my food out quickly and in the dark, without paying it much attention. I was so hungry that I just wanted food and didn’t care what was in it until I had already started eating it.
The whole experience made me wonder how often we do the same thing spiritually and emotionally. How often are we so hungry for something to fill us up inside that we devour the first available thing that we see, even if it’s sketchy and in the dark? Maybe we’re so hungry that we don’t even notice when it doesn’t taste right; we don’t even notice until it’s already inside of us. How much trouble could we save ourselves if we bring what we use to fill us up into the light and inspect what it’s made out of? Perhaps we would see that it’s poisonous after all. Perhaps we would see that we are eating something we never would have pictured ourselves eating, because we stooped for what was available readily instead of searching out what was better. Perhaps if we were more cautious with what we allowed inside of us, we wouldn’t gag with regret over what we’ve already ingested. I know I’m guilty of turning to things and people outside of God to try to fill up a hole in my heart and soul that only God can fill. And when I fill it with counterfeits to the feast God has prepared for me in the presence of my enemies (Psalm 23:4), I’m left more empty than when I arrived, and with a bad taste in my mouth. I want to taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8), and to wait for Him instead of filling myself up with counterfeits in the dark. May we eat–may we feast–at the table of the Lord in the light from now on, and may the scraps from the tables of the dark not even tempt us.
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