When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

AS A YOUNGSTER, I hated to climb the basement stairs after dark. I always felt as if someone was behind me, so I always hurried to get to the top of the stairs. One evening I was sent to put some ice cream into the basement freezer. My dolls were also in the basement. That night I got lost in make believe, forgetting about the time. Meanwhile my dad, always one to conserve electricity, turned off the light at the top of the stairs. That left me with a dilemma: to turn off the basement light and go up in the dark, or to leave the basement light on, run up, and turn on the garage light, then go back down to turn off the basement light.

Jesus himself defined the decision to follow Him as a choice for light over darkness. Following Him means walking through life in this world with clarity and purpose—a pathway that leads to the new heaven and new earth.

That night I chose not to walk in darkness, but made the effort to find the light. I later made the decision to follow Jesus, and my whole life took on a new kind of light. Those trips up the basement stairs were a clear picture to me of my need to follow, and rely on, the light of Christ in my life.

Today, allow the light of Christ to give you courage to face your “basement stairs.”

Annie Wamberg is a recent empty-nester. She is enjoying the quiet as well as gardening and traveling.