My favorite Psalm is #34:5 “Look to Him, and be radiant…” Yes, I use Be Radiant as my mantra, as a reminder of what I am to do each day. Some people call it a tagline, though that causes me to grimace as it is far more important than a little tagline. You see, I believe the idea of Be Radiant is a reminder of what we are to strive to do in each day, in each moment. There is only one way we achieve radiance and that is to look at the beginning of that verse in Psalms. The idea of Be Radiant is a manifestation of what happens when we focus on God, as the first three words of the Psalm say “Look to Him…” The Psalm does not say work more and be radiant or do more and be radiant or please people more and be radiant, it simply says “Look to Him, and Be Radiant…”
Why do I call this out? It just seems as if our world is a mess right now. Every day brings new issues and new challenges. People are experiencing this difficult time at a global level, national level, community level and personal level. In that context, the idea of being radiant seems unobtainable as the world feels so out of control. However, that is why we have to focus on the first three words of the Psalm, “Look to Him…” We, the people, can not become radiant in and of ourselves, just as we can not solve the problems of the world by ourself. We must turn to and look to Him for everything.
There are only two people in the Bible ever identified as radiant; Christ and Moses. Christ of course, as we celebrated on the Feast of the Transfiguration last week, was radiant as he appeared to the apostles. Moses was radiant as he received the 10 Commandments and journeyed down from Mt. Sinai. In both cases, God was fully present in them, emitting a radiance so bright that others had to cover their eyes. There is so much, of course, that Christ and Moses have done and taught us. At this point though, I reflect on one important piece that Christ and Moses have in common: their complete focus on God.
That leads me back to the Psalm, we can not Be Radiant of our own accord. We can not decide that today is the day I will Be Radiant. Radiance is not what we do, but rather a result of focus on God. Radiance, I believe, can occur when you align your heart with God; when you look to Him and focus on Him. When you “Look to Him, and Be Radiant”, you do shine a bit more brightly and I dare say others see that.
So many times we hear of light as it relates to Christ and God. We learn not to hide our light under a “bushel basket”, but to put it out there for all to see. We know it is the light that casts out the darkness. We, each of us, can be a light when we look to Him. We can look to God in our prayer, in our bibles. We can find God in each other. As we look to Him, our light can shine a little bit brighter. That may be just the spark that someone else needs to “Look to Him…” So, as we navigate this turbulent world, I will continue to encourage us to Be Radiant. Let us not be drawn into the issues of the world, but rather, keep our focus on God. In so doing, we can all Be Radiant and share God’s light with the world.