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Rock Your Dreams and Callings

There is an old story that speaks of the difference between making a contribution and a commitment. This story is a conversation between a father and a son around the breakfast table. It goes; a young man asked his dad what the difference was between making a contribution in life and being committed to making a contribution. The dad pointed to his breakfast plate of eggs and bacon and said, “you see, son, the chicken made a contribution to your breakfast, while the pig made a commitment.”

I think that we get the difference between a dream and a calling confused in much the same way. While a dream and calling can happen at the same time, there is an essential difference between the two. John Maxwell says, “a person who has a dream knows what he’s willing to give up in order to go up.” Practically speaking, a dream is an answer to the question of “what’s possible” in our lives. When we move in the direction of our dreams, we combine a vision, and our energy to gain momentum in the course of possibility. A dream is like a contribution being made to the breakfast table of hope. Many of us have dreams but never fully back them up with the necessary actions required for them to be lived out.

Now, this is different from a calling as a calling isn’t about a single destination; rather, the actions in between destinations. A calling is the truth that God moves us so decisively that everything we are about is called forth and invested with unusual zeal, devotion, and direction as we live in response to that calling. Simply put, a calling is God’s vision for what’s possible in our life. I believe everyone has a calling - even if we haven’t heard it yet.

Recently, my youngest daughter is pursuing a dream of being a professional ballet dancer at a young age. So, inspired by her dream, she auditioned and was accepted into one of the nation’s stronger pre-professional schools. Having moved away in pursuit of that dream, she soon found out it conflicts with her calling. While her dream is to dance, her calling is to help people. The abnormally high commitment to her dream is muting the callings of her heart. She is now reconsidering the difference between the two. She realizes that true happiness in her life is not possible without actively moving towards the callings that are inspired by God.

It seems like many of us are stuck without a sense of “purpose’ - perhaps understanding the difference between dreams and callings can free us to pursue what’s most important. I hope that knowing the difference between our dreams and callings will free us to rock our work so that we may love our lives.

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