On Perspective (by Tony Alicea)

Today’s guest post comes from Tony Alicea, who I connected with on the twitter.

Tony is a budding writer that loves technology, grandiloquent words, long walks on the beach and freshly ground Guatemalan coffee. His passion is to tell others about their identity in Christ.

Not only is a he wonderful writer, but based on his writing and my interactions with him, it’s evident that he loves God and loves people. Besides, he’s a fan of Seinfeld and The Office. Clearly he’s a man of refined tastes. I hope you enjoy reading this post as much as I have.

Here’s Tony on perspective:
Perspective is an ever-changing reality. It frames our picture, adjusts our lenses and it creates our filters. We use it to define everything from relationships to space and time.

Sometimes a minor shift in perspective, will open up a completely new reality. Adjusting the lens just slightly, opens up an entirely different view. What looked impossible, now seems possible. What looked uninteresting, becomes fascinating. What sounded like noise, becomes melodious.

Blessed is she who clearly sees the wood for the trees.
To obtain a ‘bird’s eye’ is to turn a blizzard into a breeze. ~Brandon Boyd

Perspective does not define truth, but it will shape how you receive truth. Your perspective is limited to your experience. Your experience determines the level of truth you can comprehend.

You can take a concept such as grace, for example. You can believe in grace. You can quote the definition. You can tell others about it. But if you never receive it from another person, your perspective on the scope of grace is limited to an abstract concept.

It takes an experience to shift your perspective. You cheat. You lie. You fall. You fail…miserably. Then the result you’ve encountered up to that point (condemnation, disappointment, abandonment) doesn’t come. You receive words of hope. You receive forgiveness. You receive something you don’t deserve. You experience grace.

You are pulled back and you see a larger part of the picture. The unending trees open up to a clearing. The fierce whirlwind becomes a gentle breeze. Despair turns into hope. All due to a shift in perspective, an experiential alteration of your entire paradigm.

Every time I put God in a box, He shifts my perspective. It doesn’t mean that the truth of who He is changes; it just means that my limited comprehension of truth gets enhanced by a new experience. It is an enchanting mystery of an ever-expanding reality.

I am now wary of explaining God succinctly. I don’t box Him into a theology that defines exactly what He will do and how He will do it. That doesn’t change the fact that His truth is constant. It simply provides room for the mystery and recognition that I haven’t and won’t experience every aspect of my prodigious God.

Perspective is realizing that possessing the truth doesn’t mean you have all the answers, but knowing that you can trust in the One that does.

To read more from Tony Alicea, visit him at at his website and follow him on the twitter at @TonyJAlicea.

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23 Responses to “On Perspective (by Tony Alicea)”

  1. Jason December 8, 2010 at 12:15 am #

    Posts like that are why Tony’s one of my first stops in the morning. If I had the ability to show you a live webcam of me right now, I’m standing up and applauding this post.

    • Tony Alicea December 8, 2010 at 7:11 am #

      Wow, thanks so much Jason. That is a huge encouragement to me. If you could see my web cam, I’m doing a weird dance in my chair.

  2. BeckeyZ December 8, 2010 at 1:48 am #

    Well put!

    I always try to be aware of perspective from my “camera’s” point. It is cool to read about it so wonderfully written.

    • Tony Alicea December 8, 2010 at 11:31 am #

      Thank you so much, Beckey. I’ve been playing with a little photography as of late. I’m fascinated at how differently I look at things through the eyes of a lens. It was a poignant metaphor for me.

  3. Michael December 8, 2010 at 7:02 am #

    I can’t get the idea of him walking on the beach with Hasselhoff out of my head. I think your final line nails it.

  4. Jim F. December 8, 2010 at 7:40 am #

    Tony – excellent post.

    I am reminded of Isaiah 55:10ff — God a couple of years ago spoke to me about his perspective as I read those verses. I want to live life seeing it from God’s perspective.

    I am working in my mind currently a message for a Sunday morning where I have everyone get up and more to a different part of the sanctuary so that they are looking from a different perspective.

    Thanks again!

  5. V.V. Denman December 8, 2010 at 8:48 am #

    “Every time I put God in a box, he changes my perspective.”

    Isn’t that the truth. Just when I think I’m rolling along smoothly, He snaps His fingers and I wake up out of my daydream.

    Thanks for another great post.

  6. A Simple Country Girl December 8, 2010 at 9:19 am #

    It’s so good to meet you Mr. Alicea. And this piece of writing is chocked full of Spirit-influenced insight. I love the image–a giant tidal wave crashing or a body of water on which to float?

    And I love the words. One statement (“Perspective does not define truth, but it will shape how you receive truth.”) in particular holds such a myriad of meanings. Thank you so much!

    Thank you miss Kathy for hosting his work.

    Also, what’s up with the Hasselhoff statement from Michael? Does said walk involve bright red swim trunks? (perhaps I just stuck my foot in my mouth…I’ve tasted it before…blah!)

    Blessings.

    • Tony Alicea December 8, 2010 at 11:15 am #

      Pleasure is mine. Thank you so much!

  7. Cathy December 8, 2010 at 9:35 am #

    Great, as usual, T! Can’t wait for January! 🙂

    Love the picture, too, Kat…

  8. April December 8, 2010 at 10:07 am #

    So very true! i am always amazed when I take a minute to stop and think of how truly big God is! He’s not able to fit into the small boxes we try to shove him into. He’s much bigger than that! So big in fact that we cannot fully comprehend it. Great post Tony, as always!

  9. kristinherdy December 8, 2010 at 10:11 am #

    This was good stuff until I got to Michael’s comment about Tony and the Hof. Now I can’t help but think them frolicking to a cheeseburger stand… great. Pass the brain bleach, please.

    I loved the last line as well. Perspective is always like a periscope, the mirrors have to be pointed in two different directions for it to work. (*Ok, don’t use that, because I just commented myself into a new blog post, I think 😉 )

    • Tony Alicea December 8, 2010 at 11:16 am #

      I’ll bill you at my usual flat rate for “Inspiration Services”.

      • kristinherdy December 8, 2010 at 11:33 am #

        I’ll give it to you in a guest post, is 500 words your Inspiration Rate?

  10. Jay Cookingham December 8, 2010 at 12:55 pm #

    To see with God-centered vision is great perspective and a great way to view our lives. Man, you nail this post!

    If you’re being run out of town, get in front of the crowd and make it look like a parade. ~ Author Unknown

  11. Matt @ The Church of No People December 8, 2010 at 3:10 pm #

    Good stuff, Tony. I think you know where I stand. A God who is without mystery is not God at all! It’s not that He isn’t constant, it’s that He’s constantly evading our expectations.

  12. Maureen December 8, 2010 at 3:31 pm #

    Excellent guest-post!

  13. Scott Couchenour December 8, 2010 at 4:30 pm #

    “Perspective does not define truth, but it will shape how you receive truth. Your perspective is limited to your experience. Your experience determines the level of truth you can comprehend.”

    This is an incredible triad of sentences! Wow!

  14. Sandra Heska King December 9, 2010 at 9:48 am #

    Yes! Yes! Amen!

    This is why I hang out with my little girl camera (moving up soon to a teen lens) and sit outside my box (house)in the yard. He’s teaching me to see.

    Love the quote.

    Thanks for hosting Tony, Miss Barnkat.

  15. Candy December 9, 2010 at 10:02 am #

    Marvelous, Tony. I used to put God in a box, too. Then through different seasons I realized there wasn’t one big enough. Embracing the mystery feels safer now. Rather than wondering what He’s up to I just wait. Patiently. Well, sort of.

    LOVE that picture!

  16. jasonS December 9, 2010 at 1:16 pm #

    Formulas fail when it comes to God. The only guarantee is in trusting Him completely, but that doesn’t sit well with us a lot of the time. Even the principles while true have to be understood in the context of relationship. I like how one minister put it, that having the principles without the Prince is no good and will mess us up.

    Thanks Tony. Another great post!

  17. Tony Alicea December 10, 2010 at 6:46 am #

    I just want to say thank you to everyone for your overwhelming feedback. It is seriously encouraging.

    And thanks to the Queen of Twitter for the opportunity. You are the best katdish!

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