I practice contemplation. It’s important. We either gain new perspectives or we forever look at the world the same way — which is to say, we never change. In order to see the world the way God sees it we need contemplative breakthroughs.
In the tenth chapter of Acts we find the story of the Apostle Peter’s contemplative breakthrough — a breakthrough that altered the entire course of Christianity. The fisherman apostle was staying in the seaside town of Joppa. At noon he went up on the roof of Simon the Tanner’s house to observe one of the designated hours of prayer. While in prayer Peter went into a trance (ekstasis) and saw something — a great sheet filled with non-kosher animals being let down from the sky. A voice instructed him to “kill and eat.” Peter refused saying, “By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is profane or unclean.” The voice from heaven replied, “What God has made clean, you must not call profane.” This happened three times. As a result of this mystical experience Peter was willing to accept an invitation to enter the home of a Gentile — something he had never done before. When Peter arrived at the home of Cornelius, a military officer in the occupying Roman army, Peter said—
You yourselves know that it is unlawful for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile; but God has shown me that I should not call anyone profane or unclean…I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. (Acts 10:28, 34–35)
The implications of this breakthrough are incalculable.