The lie we all believe sometimes.

People younger than you will die today.

People in better shape, people who floss more, people who believe the same lie you and I believe: We can do that later.

The truth is, we don’t own later.

We rent today.

We borrow a meager handful of hours and think that makes us the king of the calendar.

We are not.

We rent the day, not own it.

But we are certain that someday we will do that thing.

We will start that business or write that book or marry that guy.

These are nice dreams, but the container called “someday” that we are putting them in does not exist.

You get today.

I get today.

Today is a reality.

Tomorrow is a maybe.

Number it, know it, lean into it as if it’s the only day you get.

Because guess what, it will be some day.

And I don’t want you to leave this planet with a single thing you were going to do someday.

31 Comments
  • Dan McDonald
    Posted at 10:17h, 02 November Reply

    Thanks. I do have one dream, better start using the rent money on this life to get it done.

    • Jon Acuff
      Posted at 10:19h, 02 November Reply

      Great point, I’ll actually post about money and dreaming next week. I’ve been thinking a lot about how money impacts dreams.

      • Becca Oursler
        Posted at 10:33h, 02 November Reply

        Oh good because money/security fears have been screaming in my face this week. Looking forward I next weeks post.

        • Emily Capito
          Posted at 00:41h, 04 November Reply

          You too? This past week has been historic in terms of feeling financially insecure (when it rains it pours, especially when you’ve leveraged the majority of your savings to screw the someday container!)

          Also looking forward to your coming posts on dreams and money, Jon. Excellent post.

          “One of these days means none of these days.”
          – English Proverb

      • Alice
        Posted at 07:38h, 03 November Reply

        Looking forward to reading your perspective on how money impacts dreams. Thanks for the reminder to make the most of today while we have it.

      • Larry Youngren
        Posted at 11:42h, 03 November Reply

        Maybe I am overly sensitive on the money thing. Of course, it seems the US media is throwing gas on this fire. What is the true currency in this thing we call life? It is not about how big our bank accounts are in terms of dollars and cents. Is our true wealth the compassion and kinsmanship for our brothers and sisters. How deep we cultivate our relationships. Is this the true stewardship called by God?

  • Robin Merriman
    Posted at 10:22h, 02 November Reply

    Wow. Gut check.
    I wrote the first page of my first book last week. Time to get busy on the next 300 pages.
    Gotta pay my rent.
    Thanks for the reminder Jon.

  • Lolly
    Posted at 10:25h, 02 November Reply

    “Today is a reality, tomorrow is a maybe. ” #ProfoundWordsFromJonAcuff

  • Anne Dovel
    Posted at 10:36h, 02 November Reply

    “we don’t own later.” Well said. Thanks!

  • Christopher Sanchez
    Posted at 10:39h, 02 November Reply

    Great post!

  • Brandi Griffin
    Posted at 10:50h, 02 November Reply

    Holy cow, this is fabulous. You’re on the money, friend! A few years ago I decided not to wait. I was 27 and suddenly diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Yes, it totally sucks when you think about it, but God turned my sucky situation into an amazing opportunity. I picked myself up by my bootstraps and went back to college; I started a blog; I started educating others about MS. My husband and I got serious about our music ministry, and I accomplished the smaller dream of becoming a MAC makeup artist for a while. Now I focus totally on school which is only giving me more and more opportunities to write and to teach, and most of all to grow in Him. If we only take that tiny step of faith, God will provide all of the rest. We need only to hand it over to Him. Fabulous post! 🙂

  • Merritt
    Posted at 11:10h, 02 November Reply

    Jon,
    Really looking forward to the one on money. We are huge Dave Ramsey fans so trying to live with in our means. But our means are not enough to meet many of our dreams. My husband is a youth pastor and I make minimal working part time at a non-profit but we both love our jobs. However that means our 4 children will never go to an amusement park, never go to Disney, couldn’t find money in the budget to go apple picking, etc. I’m not complaining because this is the route we have chosen there’s just a lot of dreams that will not be achieved.

  • Duane Maddy
    Posted at 11:14h, 02 November Reply

    I need to hear myself say this instead of read it. Dreams are great, but scary when I realize I’m awake. As an artist, I have to rely on others to enjoy my dream in order to make money. I think I’m slowly getting there.

  • Cindy
    Posted at 11:17h, 02 November Reply

    Keep these posts coming! Seriously, this is the motivation I need to keep writing, to edit said writing, and to share it with others.

    Thanks!

  • Amanda
    Posted at 11:50h, 02 November Reply

    Thank you for writing this, and sharing it on a day I am grieving the tragic loss of a great friend, who’s life was cut short. He lived by what you, so eloquently wrote, and challenged others to do the same, everyday.

  • Diane
    Posted at 12:08h, 02 November Reply

    Good to see you blogging again. Great words for a great day from a great guy. Miss seeing you at work but I am still hanging in there with words of truth for the troops….

  • TJ McCoy
    Posted at 13:11h, 02 November Reply

    This is a great reminder to all of us. Thanks Jon.

  • David Mike
    Posted at 14:44h, 02 November Reply

    Reminds me of Rory Vaden’s “Success isn’t owned, it’s rented and the rent is due everyday.” I need to remember these things due to my procrastinating perfectionism!

  • patrick
    Posted at 15:19h, 02 November Reply

    Toughest part is when ‘real life’ intrudes on my dreams. There’s gotta be a balance and I think achieving that balance is one of the tougher things in life to do consistently. Add to that the factor of the clock ticking (which seems to tick faster as time goes by) and you get that added pressure to make a ‘now or never’ moment.

    Usually, I am so overwhelmed by my ‘have to’s’ that I find so little time/resources/energy for my ‘want to’s’. Short of cloning, what do you suggest, Jon? If you give me some good advice, i’ll gift you a nice industrial size jar of peanut butter…. good advice = creamy, not so good = well, you know.

  • Jim
    Posted at 15:50h, 02 November Reply

    Jon, this could easily be seen as poetry. I like that. I highly recommend you call yourself a queso eating poet now on all of your profiles.

  • Mike
    Posted at 21:41h, 02 November Reply

    Why the concern about dying with unfulfilled ambitions? Any imaginative person will surely have more than can be accomplished in 100 lifetimes. You’re going to have to leave a few on the table when you check out. There’s just no way around it. Besides, I think it’s going to be a hell of a lot more interesting on the other side than anything I do while I’m here. I’m ready to ride whenever.

  • Shannon
    Posted at 07:09h, 03 November Reply

    Remember Reggie’s jars of marbles at the Orange Conference? I loved this line you wrote and could picture handfuls of marbles, poured into our hands from our parents and others that have invested in us…”the container called “someday” that we are putting them in does not exist.” Powerful image. Thanks for your example and the inspiration.

  • Annie Hayes
    Posted at 07:34h, 03 November Reply

    Hey John- I heard these exact same words from my uncle just before he died from cancer. He was only 43. He said don’t wait for that someday to go on that trip, don’t wait until the kids are a certain age to do this or that or wait until someday to find that new job. Do it now because you don’t know if that someday will be here even next week- he only lived a month after he was diagnosed with his cancer. It was hard to hear him say that but what a wise man and he changed my life forever. Someday is a very special word for me.
    Annie

  • Beth
    Posted at 09:26h, 03 November Reply

    I love your posts, bro! You get right to the point. Life is but a vapor…

  • Zechariah
    Posted at 09:42h, 03 November Reply

    Truth! I wish that I would have owned this years ago. No since in dwelling on that. I will own today and I will live out the proper priorities today. Thank you for inspiring us all to action Jon.

  • Larry Youngren
    Posted at 11:33h, 03 November Reply

    Another great post.

    It is how we use today will shape the path to tomorrow. Do we invest time and energy to sow, cultivate, nurture and harvest the seeds of tomorrow. Do we develop those spokes on the wheel of life? Before today ends are we grateful for everything, even the potholes in the road, that happened today that further develops the path for tomorrow?

    Take action. Take ownership. Be responsible. Be flexible. Be truthful. Be humble.

    Grab today as tomorrow may not arrive.

  • Jon Stolpe
    Posted at 17:49h, 03 November Reply

    Jon, You don’t know how timely this post is. A very good friend of mine suddenly lost is sister-in-law today. She was 50 years old. Her husband passed away several years ago from cancer. And they had 8 kids.

    Make the most of every opportunity!

    • Emily Capito
      Posted at 00:45h, 04 November Reply

      Wow, that really puts life in perspective. Thank you for sharing.

  • LadyTam
    Posted at 19:03h, 03 November Reply

    I’ve had a rough weekend of the wanting to, but of being held back by the physical. :/ What do you do when your body won’t let you do the things you want or feel led to do?

    (Yeah, I’m a big ol’ whiney-pants right now; just bear with me folks. :P)

  • JT Adamson
    Posted at 21:40h, 03 November Reply

    Since I couldn’t own “later” I laid hold of “late.” Think I’ll drop them both.

  • Dan Pedersen
    Posted at 15:35h, 04 November Reply

    That last line was especially great. Thanks for the inspiration.

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