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  • Avery Garn

Stop Making Time for What Matters Most

Originally published on

Just a normal morning in the kitchen--jokes. A very staged photo from September when my friend talked me into documenting this "season"--as if I could forget it. I appreciate the photos now!

Growing up, trips to the pharmacy were a treat. Our local pharmacist always kept her store stocked with surprises: picture frames, jewelry, key chains. My sister and I would browse as my mom chatted with the providers behind the counter and covertly watched for what we lingered over. Later that year we would sometimes unwrap those treasures on our birthdays or under the Christmas tree.

I always got excited pulling into the pharmacy; it meant lazily window shopping with my mom and sister. Now, I listen to the ads on TV rave about the convenience of pharmaceuticals shipped to my doorstep, and I ponder not what time could be saved, but rather what time might be lost. Ironically, what these delivery services promise, we already had to begin with.

Years later, I would return to this pharmacy after my dad’s sudden death. The same pharmacist would comfort me as she handed me my anti-nausea prescription. I don’t know of a delivery service that can do that.

This anecdote is not unique to me. Many of us have fond memories of mundane tasks: buying a car with dad, wandering Blockbuster with family on a Friday night, strolling down the grocery aisles with mom. Shooting the breeze, catching up, slowing down. Daily inconveniences, to-dos, and errands. Do those moments and relationships not comprise “what matters most?”

I think of the woman at the well drawing water for Jesus, the necessary tasks of life that make space for us to invite one another along, to lean in, to share an experience.

So Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well… A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink. John 4:6-7

The truest parts of life so often occupy the ordinary and the uneventful. A woman embarked on the daily chore of drawing water, and came away thirsting no more, having met her savior.

We are all the targets of ads that promise services that will save us “time for what matters most”: prescription deliveries, curb-side grocery pick-up, rides on-demand. We can even hire someone to come wash the car that we have no need to drive. But instead of becoming the smiling families that commercials promise, we fill our newfound free time with more streaming, more scrolling, more sleeping. So when all of our needs and wants are delivered to our front door, what are we left with?

In a world of two-hour delivery, on-demand movies, and online car buying, maybe we should ask ourselves, where is it that we find what matters most? Maybe it’s somewhere different than we thought. Maybe it is in the mundane tasks that make up life: the prescription pick-up, the water drawing, the aisle wandering. Maybe it’s time we walk to the well again.



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