99 and a half

The pressure to not fuck up and go to hell

I’ve always had a fondness for this gospel/funk fusion from Hezekiah Walker featuring the Love Fellowship Tabernacle Crusade Choir (LFC).

In high school (cuz there was no such thing as junior and high when I was that age) it was one of the cool songs we church kids liked because it went against the grain of the solemn even song, sermon and benediction we were accustomed to.

Only recently have I really listened again to the words and felt a slight constriction around my heart because I thought I was only doing my best not to punch a one-way ticket south. Deep south.

Lord I’m running

99 and a half now prompts me to recite the Lord’s Prayer in my head when I hear it. But then pressure hits when I get to this part:

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil…

I always think about that Spiderman movie, the one with Toby McGuire where Aunt May is saying her prayers and the green goblin busts in her room and forces her to say that line and she does it with such terror in her eyes…

It makes me wonder if that’s the kind of true terror that’s out there waiting for me if I’m not the best person I can be. On point. All the time.

Talk about pressure.

I’ve recently learned a few bible verses to help me quell that relentless drive to be perfect, which inevitably always causes me to stall out on a project or an idea. The one that stands out the most is this:

‘The Spirit at work within me is greater than the spirit of this world.’ (1 John 4:4)

That one sentence always seems to reset my focus and pivot my mind in a positive direction. It, and the other verses I’ve come to memorize make me feel hopeful and inspired by the fact that there’s a place for all of us up yonder.

So now, I have this theory. I think that we’re all going to heaven. I think that God doesn’t want any of us to not be there. So, he’s going to split us in two on judgement day and the good parts of us will go up, while the bad parts, well, you know.

I think that – depending on how much good or bad you have in you on that day, will determine how much of you goes up or down. I feel like, for some folks, the split isn’t required. They’re just so filled with goodness that it caused the other part to diminish and so they make it through the pearly gates whole. The same can be said for those rotten to the core. But as for the rest of us, it’s a matter of percentages.

It’s the hopes of all of me making it in heaven that sends me in a frenzy sometimes – wanting 100% or me going up there because I don’t want any part of me suffering.

I mean yeah, I’m selfish like that. I don’t want 99.5 per cent of my going to heaven while .5 per cent punches a one-way ticket to hell.

And I sure as shit don’t want it to happen the other way around so I’ve…

Got to make 100

Again, this is a theory. My theory. Don’t go thinking too deep about this and starting a cult and attaching my name to it. I ain on that run. I’m only human and for most the prevailing theory is that,

99 and a half won’t do

So just enjoy the freaking song if everything I wrote went over your head.

Song: 99 and a half
Artist: Hezekiah Walker feat. LFC
Album: By Any Means Necessary
Release date: 1990

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1 Comment

  • Sorry. I got distracted by JayZ’s lyric…I got 99 problems but a bitch ain’t one.

    What’s up with the number 99?

    Even USA prices tend to end in 99cents.

    Hmmmm

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