†††††I never liked mushrooms when I was a boy. There seemed something strange about them. They grew in clumps of dead leaves, on rotting tree trunks, and in moldy basements. Their white, fleshy texture seemed almost ghostly as well. In addition, I had been warned a hundred times not to eat any wild ones because they might be poisonous. This didnít put me in a mood to taste them then when I saw my Grandma getting ready to put them on a pizza one day. I did, however, work up my courage and ate a raw one while she was spreading the sauce. It tasted just like it looked: musky, bland, and unwholesome. I spit it back out right away and from then on I picked the mushrooms out of anything I ate without tasting them.

†††††It wasnít until I was an adult that I was pressured into trying mushrooms again. This time, though, I found out something I hadnít known before. When you cook mushrooms in something they not only take on the flavor of that food, but they enhance it as well. Soon I was enjoying mushrooms in soups, on steaks, in sauces, and even on pizzas. I became a true mushroom lover and have enjoyed this wonderful creation of God ever since.

†††††I realized something special too. God often gives us a lot of different "mushrooms" in our lives. Often we have to go through things and experiences that we donít like and even are afraid of. After they are stirred in with the rest of our lives, though, we find that they have helped us rather than harmed us. I know that more than once I have been mad at God for having to go through pain, disappointment, and hardship only to later find that these things have brought me to a place of deeper love, joy, caring, and oneness with Him. Donít be afraid of the mushrooms that come your way then. Stir them in, cook them up, and enjoy the feast of life that God has given you. And donít forget to set a place at the table for everyone you love.

~ Joseph J. Mazzella ~

[ by: Joseph J. Mazzella ( -- {used with permission} ]


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