When I first moved to Queens, I was doing carpentry work. One day after my job, I was going to the Guru Health Foods store. I parked my car just on the corner below the block, just off 86th, 87th Avenue.
So, I bought my stuff, and as I was coming out of Guru Health Foods (which was right in the middle of the block, further down the hill, not at the corner the way it is now) …as I walked outside, I looked up and saw that Guru was walking down the hill. This was a summer day, and he was wearing shorts and a polo shirt. I just stood there with my hands folded. I was trying to be devoted.
As Guru was walking down the hill, he saw me there. He stopped in front of me and said, “Sal, (at that time my name was Sal) …do you have your car here? And I said, “Yes, Guru.” He said, “Go bring it. bring it.”
But I had just gotten off my carpentry job, and the car was basically my work place. It was where my equipment was; all my tools were there. There was sawdust on the seat. There was sawdust on the floor. There were pieces of wood scraps everywhere and tools.
It was a bit of a mess, so I tried to clean it up quickly. I was really working as quickly as I could. I threw everything that was on the front seat into the back, and I brushed off the seat the best I could. I was doing everything. I was working feverishly to get it ready.
Before I could get it ready, I saw Guru at the door, knocking at the window on the passenger side. I reached over to open the door and let Guru in. Guru got in the car, and I said, “Guru I'm sorry. The car isn't quite ready for you yet.”
Then Guru said back to me, “You must always be prepared to receive the presence of your Master.”
It was like Guru basically branded those words on my soul. I never forgot what he said. Not that I lived up to it all the time, but at least Guru made me aware of what it was to be a true disciple.
You always have to feel that your Master is there, always there. He's always observing you, always with you, always ready to help you, whatever. He is always present for you.
Then I just drove Guru home.
God does not care for my perfection.
He does not care even for my preparation.
He cares only for my readiness
Sri Chinmoy 1