One day a close disciple of a great spiritual Master came to the Master and said, "Master, you have been telling me not to expect anything from my life, but to expect everything only from God. I do have faith in God, but unless and until I have seen Him face to face, how can I expect anything from Him? If I see a person, I may expect something from him, but if I don't see him, what can I expect from him? I see my hands, and I expect something from my hands. I see my limbs and just because I see them, I feel that I can ask them for a favour. But in the case of God, since I do not see Him, how can I expect anything from Him?"
The Master said, "My child, it is true that you have not seen God, but I wish to tell you that there are many things that you get which do not actually come from an action of your hands, or eyes, or any part of your body. There are many things you don't expect, either from yourself or from anybody else, but these things do occur, even though you do not see any outer cause or any outer endeavour made by a person known to you. They come in God's own way, which is far beyond your imagination."
"Master, that is true. But I must say that very often when I expect something from God, my expectations are not fulfilled."
The Master said, "When you expect something from yourself, do your expectations meet with fulfilment all the time?"
"If you cannot satisfy all that you expect of yourself, why do you expect God to satisfy all that you expect of Him? Someone expects something because he has set a goal for himself, and he expects the goal to come and reach him or he wants to go and reach the goal. Because one has some destination in mind, either he pulls that destination into himself or he pushes himself to his destination. But one's own efforts are not always enough to give him success. No! There is a higher force, which is called Grace, the Compassion of God. When that Compassion descends from Above, there is nothing you cannot expect from your life. When divine Compassion descends, if you have a divine expectation it is certain to be fulfilled.
"Again, in the beginning of his journey, a seeker may aim at a lower goal because he is not yet aware of his higher capacity, or because he is not freed from his desires. If the individual does not have real, sincere aspiration, if he is not a genuine seeker, then God will just give him what he consciously wants and expects. But if he prays and meditates soulfully, because God sees his sincerity and potentiality, God will not want him to reach the lesser goal. God is keeping an infinitely higher goal ready for him.
"In the beginning your expectation may be an iota of light, but God is preparing you so that He can give you an infinite expanse of Light. In the beginning you may try to get just a drop of Nectar; you may feel that that is enough. But God wants to feed you a very large quantity of Nectar. So when you are totally sincere in your spiritual life, if you have a lesser goal, God may deny you your lesser goal because He has kept the highest Goal for you. But because you do not see the highest Goal, you feel that God is unkind to you and does not care for you."
"What is a lower or a lesser goal?" the disciple asked.
"Let me give you an example," replied the Master. "I used to want to become a ticket checker on a train. When I was a child and the ticket checker came by on the train and asked for the tickets, I was so fascinated by his movements and his gestures that I wanted to become just like him. Now, look! I have become a spiritual Master. To be a spiritual Master is an infinitely greater achievement than to be a ticket checker on a train. So God did not allow me to achieve this lesser goal.
"I also once wanted to become a great athlete, a very fast runner, but God wanted something else. He wanted me to become a very fast runner, not in the outer life, but in the inner life. The name, fame and achievement of the athlete who is a champion runner in the outer life last only for a few years. He inspires young people, true; but the inspiration he offers is nothing when compared with the inspiration that the inner champion, the spiritual Master, offers. When a Master inspires someone, that person's consciousness is elevated, and the person goes one step further toward the highest Goal. The ultimate Goal can eventually be reached with the help of a Master's inspiration and aspiration."
The disciple said, "But Master, even when I expect the highest Goal from God — Peace, Light and Bliss in infinite measure — even then my expectations are not fulfilled."
"My son, when you expect Peace, Light and Bliss from God, that means you have set yourself a very high goal. If you expect something from your friends, or your relatives, or your neighbours, or your acquaintances, if they don't want to give it, then they just won't do so. And as soon as you don't get it, you are unhappy because you feel that although you deserved it, you didn't get it; or you feel that others didn't want to give it to you because of their jealousy and fear that they wouldn't be able to show their supremacy if you got that thing.
"But in the case of God, if He does not give you something, it is not because He is jealous of you, or because He thinks that if He gives you His Infinity, then He will not be able to keep His Supremacy. No! You may feel that what you have received is only a tiny drop, while the thing that you are still expecting is an infinite ocean; but when God gives you only a drop, it is because He feels that even this tiny drop may be too much for you. But gradually God increases your capacity, and there will come a time when you will be able to receive a big drop. And finally you will be able to receive the ocean itself.
"If you expect something from God, but do not get it, rest assured that God has a very good and legitimate reason for not giving it to you. It is because He will give you something far better in the future. Also, He will tell you the reason why He is denying you. If He does not fulfil your expectation, He offers you Light. Through that Light, He makes it clear to you why He is not giving you what you expect. Again, if He gives you what you want immediately, then also He will tell you the reason you are getting it now. So, my child, if you really want to expect something, expect not from yourself, not from anybody else, but only from God.
"The fulfilment of expectation is at once a human necessity and a divine satisfaction. When we say we are satisfied, that is the fulfilment of our expectation. But this fulfilment of expectation takes place in a divine way only when we surrender our will to God's Will.
"Otherwise, we shall pray to God, meditate on God, worship God and try to please God with the wrong kind of expectation. Because we have prayed for eight hours, we shall expect God to give us a smile. But how do we know that by getting a smile from God our life will be immortalised, or that by getting something else that we wanted our life will be fulfilled?
"If we expect from God in a divine way, Reality will loom large in us; and, with this Reality, we will be able to go to our Immortality, our highest transcendental Goal."