What drives us as in what motivates us is a factor and fact of life. Especially in America, where individual liberty is arguably the highest value which means there is a drivenness across every sector of society, often top down, starting from those with the money who want more.
But drivenness is natural to us as humans, and likely we can say natural more so in our fallenness, so that it is a drive which carries with it at least much that when all is said and done leaves the soul bare (I think here of Ecclesiastes).
I think drivenness has characterized much of my life. Again, it is a part of modern, even post-modern (post-modernity does not entirely phase out modernity, or at least has not yet I don’t think, nor ever entirely will, my guess, in whatever the next era is labeled) culture. There is an idealism in modernity which pushes and drives to make more and more. Probably present in the world throughout history, in the institution of slavery, the push for perceived greatness, etc.
But in Jesus I find that I’m to grow toward no longer being driven, but led. I have a sense of being led by the Spirit, in my relationship to God and in communion with the church. Or at least that is the way God is changing me I gather, my experience in the best of my times. Drivenness is something I eschew, or do not want to embrace. (Recall the man driven by demons in “the gospels”, and then set free from that by Jesus.)
This is not to say there is not a time to joyfully “kick butt”, or not so joyfully. I do mean self-inflicted. I believe in working hard, with all one’s being, so I’m not suggesting we be lazy. But I do think we need to learn to work in a pace of worship to God, in which our love for God and for our neighbor as ourselves, is paramount. How that’s worked out is hard to say, and maybe not meant so much to be said, though it’s always good to find fitting words.
I sense that we need more contemplatives, Mary’s who sit at the Lord’s feet, rather than Martha’s who never see the end of the work that needs to be done. There needs to be some kind of sense of rest and leisurely pace, even in our work (some of this I imagine I’ve gleaned from Eugene Peterson).
Led by God, by the Spirit, perhaps driven at times in that leading according to scripture (though the passage I’m thinking of can mean sent without force), but by and large learning to walk by the Spirit, in step with the Spirit in following the Lord.
Perhaps there is a time as in event, or a certain period in one’s life when a sense of drivenness is needed. But that is not where one should end up. We are led, yes gently but firmly led by God in and through Jesus by the Spirit. Together for the world.