Shri Nathji was returning home in a car with Pran Nath. It was night. Suddenly the car ran out of petrol and stopped on a deserted road.
Pran Nath was in a dilemma. Since the car registration was in his name, he could not leave the car alone with Shri Nathji in it and go out in search of petrol. If both he and Shri Nathji went together the car would be left all alone on the road and would be towed away by the police.
Shri Nathji found the answer, and said he would bring the petrol himself, while Pran Nath could wait in the car. It was the first time in his life that he was doing something like this, but his humility and love were so great that it did not matter to him.
Shri Nathji took the empty petrol can from the car and went out on the roadside. He looked for passers-by who could give him directions.
In the darkness, he saw a tall Englishman. He stopped him and asked for directions. The Englishman spent a long time with Shri Nathji, explaining the route. And Shri Nathji said:
Even if I were to follow your instructions and reach my destination, I would never be able to find my way back to the car!
The Englishman laughed, and said: All right, then, I will accompany you to the Petrol Station!
It was a strange sight. Shri Nathji walking down the deserted streets of London, an empty petrol can in his hand, and a tall Englishman by his side.
It was a stranger sight when one thought of God walking on earth with an empty petrol can in his hand! Such, indeed, was His leela, His interplay with the world. He, who had created the earth with all minerals and petroleum products, searching for a gallon of petrol in the deserted streets of London!
Shri Nathji recited a Persian verse to the tall Englishman:
“Gar falak kaare turaa barham zanad az jaa marau
Jaamaa raa khayyaat saazad kataa baihre dokhtan
If the skies destroy thy plans, do not despair
For the tailor cuts the cloth only to sew it!”
And Shri Nathji began explaining the significance of the verse to the Englishman by his side:
Man should not despair when he sees his dreams being shattered and his hopes cast to the winds. There is a grand scheme in preparation, and the Grand Creator is constructing something beautiful. When the tailor cuts a costly piece of cloth to pieces, he is not destroying it, he is simply making a pattern which he will stitch together.
Shri Nathji then said: Whenever man genuinely needs help, Nature provides him with a guide. I needed help, and you appeared before me as a guide!
The tall englishman, whose name was Robin Ferguharson, was struck with amazement and awe at Shri Nathji’s words.
A very difficult problem had been playing upon his mind, causing him no end of worry. Shri Nathji’s words caused his worry to disappear. It was a miracle.
He took the empty petrol can from Shri Nathji’s hand, saying: Allow me to carry this, sir! I am sorry I let you carry it so long!
He returned with Shri Nathji to the car, carrying the filled petrol can, and Shri Nathji offered to drive him to his home: The time you have lost in escorting me can be made up by riding in the car!
May I come to see you tomorrow? the Englishman asked Shri Nathji. He was a professor at Cambridge University.
Shri Nathji asked him to come at nine-o-clock the next morning. The man arrived at the appointed hour. Shri Nathji would never tire of telling people of the Englishman’s punctuality: As I looked at my watch, the time was five minutes to nine, then one minute to nine, and finally half-a-minute to nine. There was no sign of the man. But as the needles of my watch touched nine, Robin Ferguharson appeared at my door! What a wonderful thing it would be if man could learn such punctuality with relation to God!
Robin Ferguharson gained instant peace of mind from Shri Nathji and became a great admirer of his. He invited Shri Nathji to eat at his house at Cambridge, and Mateshwari helped him in the cooking. It was a beautiful meal. Shri Nathji had found another soul.
The spiritual relationship lasted over many days until Shri Nathji left London for America. When he returned many weeks later, Robin Ferguharson had left the shores of England. Shri Nathji’s love for him was so great that he travelled the long distance from London to Combridge to seek him, but the man was nowhere to be found. Shri Nathji’s relationship with the man, however, was one of eternity which physical separation could not bring to an end.