I don’t like mushrooms.
That’s bad enough. But things are even worse. I don’t want to like mushrooms.
If you could wave a magic wand over my culinary aversion I wouldn’t want you to. I don’t want to start liking mushrooms.
Not all my dislikes are like that. I don’t like Swiss cheese either. But I can’t say that I don’t want to like Swiss cheese. If you could wave a magic wand and make me like Swiss then I’d be fine with that.
But not mushrooms. Leave that filthy fungus growing on the damp side of a rotting log where it belongs. Don’t bring it into my kitchen. And at all costs keep it away from my plate.
Is this irrational? After all, if I did like mushrooms I would have expanded my menu to include a nutritious item. And I would no longer go into fits of gagging at the thought of mushrooms fried in rich butter or served with a creamy sauce. Instead I could benefit from partaking of these foods. These things would actually be further complements to my pleasures in the world, along with the social benefit of consuming them in community. It would be a win-win.
If only I liked mushrooms.
Which I don’t want to do.
So even though I recognize that it doesn’t really make sense, I persist in my attitude. I don’t like mushrooms and I don’t want to like them.
I have been recently puzzling on the morality and psychology of hell. And perhaps in this mundane reflection on mushrooms there is new insight to that discussion.
What could it possibly be that would keep people out of God’s relational presence eternally? And at this point we can peel away the question of people who don’t believe God exists. Let’s simply talk in terms of all people one day having God revealed to them and yet some of them choosing not to relate to God. How could this be?
Perhaps the germ of an idea that keeps me from wanting to like mushrooms can grow into a debilitating disease for the spiritual health of an organism. Perhaps there are people who don’t simply not like God, but they don’t want to like God. They don’t know God and they don’t want to know God. They are not reconciled to God and they don’t want to be reconciled to God. They are not forgiven by God and they don’t want to be forgiven by God.
Perhaps an irrational aversion to mushrooms actually provides the key to the will to damnation.