In God's providence, she was writing on thankfulness, and what keeps us from being thankful: greed. I often think of greed as being money-hungry or a gluttonous eater, but EE cut straight to my heart by addressing other forms of greed: being, doing and having.
I realized I was unable to be thankful for the blessed opportunities and friends and activities in my life because I was wading through the mire of the greed of doing. I cannot be happy with one activity because I am thinking about the other things I wish I could also do. Like Robert Frost, I am considering "the road not taken" and unable to enjoy the road I'm traveling. I have heaped unto myself too many good actions and now I lack the power to do them all. I have my hands in too many fishbowls, trying to catch the colorful fish in each one all at once. I had to humble myself and cancel one event and resist the temptation to add others when I got a phone call and another invitation tonight.
But my sin in doing does not parallel my sin of greedy being. I am up to my neck in it -- I feel as though I am fairly choking in it. Here is what EE said on the subject (italics mine):
No new temptation ever comes to any of us. Satan needs no new tricks.I have known that restlessness. It rises up in me all day at work. It drives me to be everything, everywhere, for everybody. I cannot hardly think of life other than to think what I am within that circumstance. I just want to be that girl -- whatever girl that is. It is like chasing the wind.
The old ones have worked well ever since the Garden of Eden,
although sometimes under different guises.
When there is a deep restlessness for which we find no
explanation, it may be due to the greed of being--
what our loving Father never meant us to be.
Peace lies in the trusting acceptance of His design, His gifts,
His appointment of place, position, capacity.
It was thus that the Son of Man came to earth--embracing all that
the Father willed Him to be, usurping nothing--no work,
not even a word--that the Father had not given Him.
I am so thankful for this little message to me. What a mercy it is when God shows us our sin and teaches us more of Himself through it. Though I cannot say I am healed completely of these sins, I have seen a bit of an awakening. All day I was able to live with the freedom to not be everything at work, just to do my jobs and let others just go and do. I am realizing that I'm not MarthaStewartRachelRayElisabethElliotMaryPoppinsCarolynMahaney, but I'm just Gretchen -- an asthmatic girl with a messy house who needs to just rest and do the lot assigned to her. Maybe that sounds boring to you, but incredible peace comes, like my dear EE says, when I accept His design, His gifts, His appointment of place, position and capacity.