Who Really Owns My Time?

“I don’t have time” is one of those ridiculous things we say pretty much all the time. As if time can be owned. As if we could take charge of it, I mean really, “who’s got the time?” Right? 

Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day. Genesis 1:3-5 NKJV

God is the Creator of time. He holds time, I don’t. But I keep needing reminders. He made the first day, divided light and darkness. He called it day. He said it was good. So why do I so often bemoan those hours, as if He didn’t make quite enough? Why do I consider them mine? 

Why do I whine about my accomplishments and non-accomplishments within those 24 hours as if He did not allow interruptions for a bigger purpose than I can see or know? “I don’t have time,” often becomes a panicky whine about what isn’t mine in the first place Share on X

I’ve had some major interruptions lately. A series of things which didn’t fit into my plans or in my budget.  

I talked to a couple once, who bore some pretty deep grudges about money, feeling cheated out of what they believed to be rightfully theirs. I listened skeptically, all the while in my heart dismissing their rant with, “well…it wasn’t yours to begin with. Our money belongs to God.” 

As I stood there listening with a dose of self-righteousness, the Spirit nudged me with, “Well, Sylvia, how about your time? You’re not so open handed with that. It belongs to Me too.”  

How often I feel I’m cheated out of the minutes that I don’t own. Doesn’t time also belong to God? “I don’t have time,” often becomes a panicky whine about what isn’t mine in the first place.

The dictionary defines interruption as a stoppage, break in continuance, or blockage. And, I’d say that pretty much describes what happens when the wi-fi glitches, unexpected guests arrive, or a request pulls me from what I meant to get done.  

I wonder if the dictionary definition fits God’s definition? 

When I view the unpredicted as stealing my time, I don’t leave a whole lot of room for what God wants to teach me.  

When my plans get detoured, God is bringing opportunity. I can trust Him to know what He wants accomplished that day and how He wants to do it. I can believe His plans are designed better than mine. He is offering an occasion to submit in faith. 

Sometimes interruptions bring divine appointments. Something I may consider an inconvenience, God may deem a blessing. It’s possible God is keeping me from harm or maybe He just wants me to learn to be patient. And maybe the interruption has another person’s good at heart. My Father sees time through a completely different lens of eternity. 

For a thousand years in Your sight Are like yesterday when it is past, And like a watch in the night. Psalm 90:4 NKJV

Whether I understand or never see why they occur, interruptions and my response to them, belong to God. 

How would life alter if my attitude when interrupted showed expectancy? What if I responded by asking what He wants to do through this? How might things change if I trusted God with the unplanned hiccups of each day?  

I need to redefine my heart’s perception of those inconvenient happenings which throw me off kilter. I need to consider to whom my minutes and hours belong.

But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 2 Peter 3:8 NKJV

He sees eternity. I just see a few feet ahead. 

So the next time the words, “I don’t have time for this,” come into your mind or out of your mouth, let me encourage you with this prayer. “Lord, take these moments which I don’t own and use them however You will.” 

Interruptions are part of God’s sovereignty. Can you think of a time when an interruption turned into a blessing?

Other Resources

Here are a couple of excellent resources from Tim Challies you might find helpful:

Are you hungry to Feed Your Soul with the Word of God? I’m honored to have a piece in this book of Thirty Short Bible Studies. You can pick it up on Amazon.


*Feature Photo by Vitolda Klein on Unsplash

25 Replies

  1. Adele Reply

    Thanks, Sylvia. I need to remember this. I had grand plans for the past two summers: a trip with my grandchildren and “cousin week,” when they were all going to come to our house. Neither happened. I did try to explain to them that we make our plans, and sometimes God has other ideas. Better for me to submit my plans to Him on advance.😀

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Adele, I know those kinds of things can be so disappointing. It is always hard to let go! Thanks so much for sharing that!

  2. millie Haar Reply

    I had plans to do a road trip back home to see Bro and visit gravesite where we laid Momma. the timing would have been during her birthday. Plans were scratched because sister had surgery and I became sick with tummy issues. Why? Lesson not learned yet. BUT I rest in God’s intervention more than in my plans. I want to walk in teh steps that God has ordered for me.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Millie I appreciate your attitude and desire to walk in the steps God has ordained. I know how difficult it is sometimes to accept upset plans. I’m grateful God is a good Father and His plans always reflect that. I’m so sorry you didn’t get to be at the gravesite of your Mother. That was a sweet plan!

  3. Katherine Pasour Reply

    Sylvia, I’m guilty of the whine, “I don’t have time.” Your message granted me an entirely new perspective on time and who it really belongs to. Thank you.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      You? Whine? I’m even more sure we would get along fabulously! Sometimes it is truly difficult, isn’t it. Even after writing that I caught myself thinking about “time” as if it should bow to my plans. I’m glad God owns times, and surely He is the One who can help us learn to enjoy His timetable. Thanks so much Katherine.

  4. Yvonne Morgan Reply

    I wish I had a nickel for every time I said that comment, I’d be rich, lol. As I’ve aged, I’m trying to do better about prioritizing my time to use it for best options. Thanks Sylvia

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thanks Yvonne. We could go shopping together! It’s so encouraging you see progress. Thanks for commenting!

  5. Candyce Carden Reply

    Oh, how I needed this! I just had a meeting with God about my resentment and whining over losing an hour of daylight with our time shift this weekend.

    Your post gives me even greater insight into the error of my ways. It’s not my time, after all.

    Thanks so much!

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thank you Candyce! I am acquainted with those kinds of meetings! I appreciate your thoughts and thanks so much for sharing!

  6. Linda Brucato Reply

    Hey Sylvia, I was delighted to read your post and see you have contributed to a devotional. Go Girl, go, right where the Lord leads.

  7. Joanna Eccles Reply

    I flew back from Asia once and experienced a 36-hour day. My body wanted to collapse from fatigue. I’ve never again accused God of not having enough hours in the day. I have all the time I need for what God wants me to do. I just have to let go of the things He doesn’t prioritize and leave margins for the distractions.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Oh Joanna, I’ve done that flight thing too, but maybe I didn’t learn the valuable lesson you did. Yes, God did know what he was doing when he made 24 hours. You are so right, we do have all the time for what God wants us to do. Some things need to be let go. Thanks so much for that insightful comment.

  8. Don Pahl Reply

    “Redeem the time [buy up moments], because we live in evil days.” (Eph 5:16) To do this, Paul mandates, “Be filled with the Spirit …” (E. 5:18) Your thoughts are right on with Paul’s counsel, Sylvia. Thanks again!

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      One of my favorite things about writing is hearing back God’s Word. It’s simply the best response I can get. Thank you so much. These are definitely interesting times and how we live in them matters. Our minutes and hours have weight in eternity. As always, thanks Don!

  9. Nancy E. Head Reply

    Man plans while God laughs. He has every minute. Thanks, Sylvia. God bless!

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thank you Nancy! Yes, it’s so true. Our plans are small. God is Sovereign. That is just so big and we forget how great He is in every minute!

  10. Katy Kauffman Reply

    Recently I made a list of things to do, like I always do. I did maybe a few items but God directed to me something else which turned out to be a great joy. I appreciate knowing that time is His, and He is wise. So now I try to make a list but then not have an internal demand on my spirit that I have to get everything thing today. Or even tomorrow. God knows how to steer us!

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thanks Katy! I love what you said. When I obsess about my planned time, it is possible He has something of joy I could miss unless I am open to His Spirit’s direction. I want to learn to be more open handed with my time, and your example is a wonderful testimony of God’s faithfulness even in the minutes of our lives. I don’t want to miss out on the joy!

  11. J.D. Wininger Reply

    Much to think about here Ms. Sylvia. Agree that I own nothing. My talents and gifts come from God. What I earn comes from the application of those talents and gifts. The knowledge I may have amassed, comes from God’s creation with the capacity to learn. How I treat others, I pray shows more Word than world. And my wife? She’s most definitely God’s gift. For all He has given me, my time is His. I’m grateful though when I am given some of it to rest in Him. Loved this post ma’am.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thank you J.D. It does basically come down to your first statement. I own nothing. Why is that such a difficult lesson to hold on to? I know it, but don’t always act on that. Thanks J.D. A wise summary of truth.

  12. Barb Fox Reply

    What a great take! I often think of time as one of the resources God invites me to steward for Him…but after reading this I’m convicted. I think I’ve often slipped into this attitude, feeling protective of “my” time when things go awry. And I treat time like a factor that limits me. But you’re right – it’s not “my” time, it’s His.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thank you Barb. I really appreciate hearing from you some of the same “slippage” I’ve struggled with. J.D.’s summary was “I own nothing,” which is exactly right. And I spend far too much “time,” wandering into thinking things belong to me. I appreciate hearing from you and this reminder yet again. Time belongs to Him. It is really a freeing thought. Thanks Barb.