There was an old man living in the desert who served God for so many years and he said, ‘Lord, let me know if I have pleased you.’ He saw an angel who said to him, ‘You have not yet become like the gardener in such and such place.’ The old man marveled and said, ‘I will go off to the city to see both him and what it is that he does that surpasses all my work and toil of all these years.’…

So he went to the city and asked the gardener about his way of life…. When they were getting ready to eat in the evening, the old man heard people singing in the streets, for the cell of the gardener was in a public place. Therefore the old man said to him, ‘Brother, wanting as you do to live according to God, how do you remain in this place and not be troubled when you hear them singing these songs?’

The man said, ‘I tell you, abba, I have never been troubled or scandalized.’ When he heard this the old man said, ‘What, then, do you think in your heart when you hear these things?’ And he replied, ‘That they are all going into the Kingdom.’ When he heard this, the old man marveled and said, ‘This is the practice which surpasses my labor of all these years.’

– from the ‘Bustan al-rohbann’