Drive and Calling: Knowing the Difference

Drive and Calling: Knowing the Difference

What is the difference and why do we need both?

“Live your calling (or “passion” as some will refer to it) and follow your dreams.” This is a statement that has a lot of motivational essence but is difficult for many to achieve. Everybody wants to live out their calling/passion, but why do so many fall short? Many times, people don’t know what a calling truly is. A calling is something that is irresistible. We have to do it. It is a force that pulls us toward it and we feel empty without it. A calling can be exchanged and suppressed because of fear, but below the surface, it is still there. A calling is something we were born to do. However, living out a calling in life is not simple, nor is it attained with little effort. For example, the Apostle Paul was given his calling to spread the Gospel around the world and he suffered for it.

“Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.”—2 Corinthians 11:25-27

Yet, in all the hardship of his calling, The Apostle Paul was content in all things.

“Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.”—Philippians 4:11-12

The Apostle Paul was content because he was living out his calling and was sustained by the Holy Spirit. Paul was also driven to accomplish the work at hand. Drive is different from a calling, in that, it is something you feel obligated or compelled to do. Drive accomplishes the mundane tasks and puts in the hard work that you feel obligated to accomplish in order to satisfy your calling. When you are driven, you will complete the boring or difficult work knowing it is leading to something greater. This is where many people miss it. Most people know their calling at some level and feel it in their heart, yet they have not the drive to achieve it. They will start the process and give up because something seems too hard and then they quickly lose sight of the upward mark and abandon their efforts. Many times when someone gives up their drive and ultimately their calling, they become bitter and conspiratorial for their failure. They will say things like, “No one supported me” or “I just didn’t get the opportunities others had,” and on and on in a similar fashion. If callings were easy, we would all be living them immediately, but we must be driven and have faith to fully realize them. Additionally, drive without a calling is an equally sad way to live life. Meaning, if all your efforts in life are only out of obligation and you have no love for what you do, you are empty. This is one of the most common causes of burnout and has led many to feel a lack of true purpose. You must first find your calling/passion and then focus your drive to accomplish it. Remember: Drive is the obligation/compelling you feel to do something and a calling is the irresistible pull. You need both in life to do great things. The Apostle Paul had a calling; was driven to complete the work at hand, and was ultimately content in all things. You can be too. Know the Lord is with you and stay the course, for soon, you will accomplish great things.