A CASE OF OBEDIENCE
A selection from the book “The Life and Instructions of Saint Ambrose of Optina. ”
Not long before the repose of Elder Ambrose, about two years, I had to go to Optina to collect some money. We had made an iconostasis there, and I went to get the payment for our work, a rather substantial sum of money, from the superior. I received the money, and before leaving went to get a blessing from Elder Ambrose for the trip home. I was in a hurry to get back because the following day some people were coming to place a large order, amounting to several tens of thousands.
That day there was as usual a packed crowd of people waiting to see the Elder. He was told that I was waiting, and through his cell-attendant gave instructions that I was to come to him that evening for tea. Although I was anxious to get on my way, the joy and honor of being invited to have tea with the Elder overweighed all other considerations, and I decided to postpone my return trip until the evening, certain that if I travelled all night I would make it home in time.