Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun. (Psalms 37:5-6) (NIV)

Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. (Matthew 13:43)

Near the top of my list of ill-conceived adventures was when I, and some college friends, tried to join the flotilla of spectators at the Seafair hydroplane races on Lake Washington. We paddled a tractor inner tube toward the event, several miles away. Progress was slow, and halfway there the race ended. On their way home, a whole navy of boats—many with alcohol fortified captains—came directly at us in the open water.

Our circular tube navigated in slow motion, and our only hope was that the captains would see us and steer around. We waved a red shirt on an oar, and I think there may have been a Coast Guard helicopter involved. Eventually a good Samaritan tossed out a line and towed us to safety.

More prudent boaters carry a simple rescue device we would’ve done well to employ. It’s a small mirror with a hole in the middle. The hole serves to line up the sun’s reflection and signal for help up to twenty miles away.

Both testaments of the Bible say the light of the righteous will shine like the sun. Those verses trouble me because, if I’m honest, I know I’m not righteous. How then can I shine?

The answer is in the rescue mirror. The mirror doesn’t shine, it reflects. Its effectiveness is all about alignment with the sun. When the reflected beam is properly aimed, the result is almost supernatural. Aircraft or boat captains squint at the intense reflection from miles away.

I don’t have a righteousness of my own, but when I line up the Son of God in my life, his righteousness shines to others. Saturating my heart with Scripture, praying through each moment, implementing the Spirit’s ways—these are the habits that keep me face-to-face with Jesus and reflecting his perfect holiness.

Prayer: Righteous One, shine from me today.