In my early teens, I got carried away by my wants and the need to be like everyone else. I wanted to be among the happening guys, wear the latest clothes, shoes and all. Of course, this was not possible for me financially, so the obvious happened, I started stealing from my dad. That time felt good and great, I could buy what I wanted, I felt like the big boy who always had cash available to give out and boy did I milk it. I felt on top of the world and all was well. Until one day, everything stopped. I got caught! I remember that day like yesterday. The funny thing was that, it wasn’t the fact that I was caught that made me feel bad, it was the look of disappointment on my dad’s face that got to me. He was sad and I felt worse. Even after many years, all forgiven and forgotten, when I remember that look, I still feel cold. I went back to my room that afternoon and these words sank in…
This is a statement I don’t hear a lot of these days, but sometimes, I wonder if people really think deep about what this statement means and how it can affect us even if we are not physically stealing.
99 represents very long days of fun and enjoyment, a time when all seems to be going well with the things we are doing. It is a time when we feel on top of the world. What could possibly happen or go wrong? We ask. Who can stop me? why do I need to slow down? I could keep at this forever. “Pepper dem” we would add. I am a master at this… and the very many things we tell ourselves to keep us going in that direction.
99 also represents very long days of warnings, a call to stop, a time when our conscience is at its loudest, screaming “pull back”. A time when good advice seems like hatred and a quest to stop our progress. We say “now that I have found “the way”, you want to stop me” and we label our advisers haters. In our local slangs, we say “they want to pour sand in my garri”
In fact, some days, we almost get caught but we somehow escape and as if that is not enough for us to stop, it serves as motivation to keep going. We are getting smarter we say. In my story, there were times, I knew I should stop, times I knew that what I was doing was not right and I would feel terrible at my actions but the road ahead always looked sweet.
Sweet to the flesh but bitter to the soul.
99 days are like the 2 sides of a rolling coin. When you roll a coin, the two sides always go in the same direction, they are up at the same time running side by side. Perceived enjoyment and advanced warning all happening at the same time. Perceived enjoyment urges you to keep rolling and advanced warning says that the coin would soon stop. Without notice, the coin stops. 1 DAY happens in an instant.
1 day is when everything stops. The excitement is cut short, the swelling head is popped, the raised shoulders are brought down. Hot becomes cold, fun becomes pain and you suddenly realise that the “haters” were actually lovers. The 99 days feel like a curse. Your conscience is silent, it had screamed its voice out. You only hear one voice saying “I should have stopped”.
Most people recover from 1 Day but there are some that don’t. 1 day can sometimes be fatal. But one thing is similar to us all, we all have 100 days.
Everyone has gone through or is currently going through a 99 day season. We hear the 2 sides of the coin while we move. 1 day is certainly ahead. It comes for all of us. Will you rejoice at 1 or will you be ashamed? The main regret with 1 is always the thought of how many chances 99 gave us.
Note to Self – “But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” .2 Peter 3:8-9 (NKJV)
That is your 99 days.
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