I am an avid reader and internet surfer. I read books, blogs, op ed pieces, the news, and even things that I never thought I’d be interested in. I can choose what to read and ignore the stuff I don’t care a thing about. It works well for me and I’ve learned a lot. I often walk away from what I’ve read feeling like I’m supposed to do something, be something, or understand something.
Once upon a time about 7 years ago, I decided that I would read all of the Newberry Award winning books for children’s literature. I also committed to reading the honor books from them as well. They started giving the award in 1922 and as of 2006, there were 365 books on the list. Every year more books are added to the list, so it was a pretty lofty goal. I printed off the list and was pleasantly surprised to see that I had already read several of the books. In the 1930s and 40s, several of the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder made the list. I read those several times as a kid. There were also books by Beverly Cleary and some that were required reading in school. My kids were in an international school in Turkey at the time, so I went to their library with list in hand to see which books could be found there. I checked out several and started reading. Over the next several years, I read many books on that list. I learned so much about so many different subjects that I would’ve never purposely read about before. There were powerful stories of slavery, sickness, love, overcoming adversity, and so many other subjects that touched my heart and changed me. After coming back to the states and getting a job, I didn’t stick with that goal as faithfully as before. There are now 400 books on that list and I’ve read 216 of them. Last year I read 31 new books, but none of them were on that list. I’ve fallen behind!
Once upon a time about a year ago, I read about a group called The Listserve. They send out a daily email from a randomly chosen member to all their subscribers. The email can be about whatever the writer chooses to share. It reminded me of that book list. Random topics written by anyone. I decided to sign up. I wondered what I would write about if I ever had the chance to speak to the over 25,000 members, but I’ve never won the Listserve lottery and been able to write an email myself. I have loved reading the stories, the recipes, the advice, the quotes, and the prayers from people all over the world and from so many different perspectives though. Amazing really.
While writing this post, the email from The Listserve chimed in my inbox. Today’s email was one of the most profound. The subject line said Ennui Go. I wasn’t sure how to pronounce that first word or exactly what it meant. I’ve seen it before, but it never mattered I guess. So I looked it up. According to Websters, Ennui, pronounced On We, means a feeling of listlessness and dissatisfaction arising from a lack of occupation or excitement.
And the email…it was one sentence. One.
Why keep searching for what you’ve already found?
I can’t even tell you how much that sentence said to me or what went through my head when I read it. It felt like a message from God, and all I can say is I’m listening.