"Busy and barren"...
My sister read me those words recently as she browsed through one of our dad's old books, a wealth in itself. He was a book lover, and he feasted on books written by the early saints of our faith, so he left a library of rich treasures, some of which we have, many went to a seminary.
Both of us kind of groaned at those words. Right off the bat I recognize that I fall into that description many times. It doesn't start that way, it may even start with the noblest of intent, but... in the DOING of good, I can get overly involved and fill every empty space with good things, and pretty soon... I feel barren.
See, it's not the good things in and of themselves, it's me.
I am energetic by nature, and I love a good worthy project, love the involvement and the giving and sharing end of it. I sometimes forget the initial plan, and get too carried away with making all the details happen. I even stumble across other 'good' things along the way, and add those to what I'm already doing. I'm not talking about multi-tasking, something we all do. I mean when we are on a mission to do something we know God has dropped into our lap, and we do our own version, in our own way.
How careful Jesus was as He walked among us during those days on earth. He ALWAYS spent time with the Father, time alone and apart, in the midst of a busy 33 years. He also never lost His focus. He was NEVER 'busy and barren'.
When 3 small words can make me say WHOA... there is a message for me, and I am listening.