V 9. The next day as Cornelius’s messengers were nearing the town, Peter went up on the flat roof to pray. It was about noon,
With dinner cooking, Peter had time on his hands – probably not a lot of time but time not to be wasted nevertheless. It seems to me that it was probably Peter’s habit to seize such moments and use them in quiet prayer and reflection. So up on the roof he goes, away from the bustle of kitchen preparation, and finds that in the solitude God has something quite revolutionary to say to him. It is a pivotal moment in the spread of the Gospel as Gentiles respond to it in faith and Peter baptises them. Peter could have offered to peel the potatoes (or whatever) but chose to seek time with God in solitude.
Without it becoming a false piety, this is not a bad habit to cultivate. Of course, it will be right to help in the kitchen sometimes, but there are more moments than we realise which can be seized and used for prayer. You don’t have to spend time thinking about the World Cup results, speculating about the nature of someone’s work or dreaming up new plans for your garden. You could use the quiet moment to pray and experience God’s presence in the routine of your daily life.
Solitude can be a planned event, built into the routine of life, but it can also be the seizing of a few moments. This habit of grabbing the otherwise wasted time is a valuable one. It can provide us with those small oases of solitude in the middle of the desert of busyness.