by Samuel Rodriguez
December 10, 2012
December 10, 2012
John, in that moment, on that morning, represents the person discovering that he is on a journey without a guide. That he must find his own way. John is the person, literally and figuratively, in the dark. John is the person asking: "Who am I?"
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When the most important person in my life, when my mission, when what gave me identity went away--who am I? Who am I when all things are pulled away and I am by myself? I don't have anyone pointing the way for me now. I don't have the PR machinery, and I don't have the marketing campaign. I don't have the infrastructure. It's just me. And it's me alone.
John speaks to loneliness. John speaks to solitude. That's the John who's running that day. The John that day is the one who says, "I'm alone. I've never been alone before, and now I am. For three and a half years I was always in the company of this great master, and now I'm alone. What am I going to do?"
John personifies all of us who find ourselves on our own, discovering our identity. When we are no longer in the shadow of someone else. When that relationship we were a part of is over. When that job that defined us is gone.
When we are all alone, and we're trying to figure out who we are outside of that relationship. When we're trying to figure out who we are, and who we are going to be.
He was running in his loneliness. Just like so many of us.
And he was looking for an answer. Like so many of us.
But here's something many of us could learn from John: Even though he didn't know what the answer would be, his faith told him to keep running until he found it.
Rodriguez is president of The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, America's largest Hispanic Christian Organization with more than 40,000 member churches. He is based in Sacramento.