Randy Smith: Standing On The Promises

  • Wednesday, July 10, 2024
  • Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Randy Smith
As you can probably guess I had a very well rounded childhood. I played practically every sport that was available in the 1950s and 60s and I played most of them pretty well....though I never played any of them well enough to go to the next level. What I've never told anyone is this: I spent most of my time when I wasn't playing sports, especially when I was by myself, I preached. Yessir....I played preacher. Now let me give you some background on this.

My parents and grandparents attended the New Hope Methodist Church in Waverly, TN.
The church building actually stood on a piece of property my family had donated to the Methodist Organization near the turn of the twentieth century. It was on a circuit, where you only had a preacher every forth Sunday. The other three Sundays, we had Sunday School and Bible study and we always had music....plenty of music. I'm talking about songs from the old Cokesbury Methodist Hymnals. Songs like, Canaan's Land, Joy In My Heart, Have a little talk with Jesus and Standing On The Promises. That was always my favorite song and if I remember correctly, it was number 99 in the hymnal. Every Sunday, we would take requests for songs to be sung, and I would always say, "Number 99 ." There would always be a snicker or two, because I would request it every Sunday morning and since there were very few kids my age or younger in church, they would always relent....except for one time when the leader decided he wanted to hear something else and chose to ignore my request. He never did that again because I started to cry and cry loudly. My grandparents took over and told the man to never ignore a request from a child again. He never did. Do you think I may have been a bit spoiled?

As I got a little older, while playing alone, I would take my grandmother's laundry hamper and turn it into a make-shift pulpit. And I would preach off the top of my head. There is one phrase I would always use. It came from one of the pastors I really liked from my childhood who would occasionally say, " If you don't repent of your sins and change your ways, you're gonna bust hell wide open!"

My grandmother overheard me once and thought it was the cutest thing she ever heard. For years she predicted that I would become a preacher, though I had as much chance of doing that for a career as I did playing a professional sport. I guess God heard some of my sermons and decided against it.

And of course, I would always close things by singing " Standing On The Promises." To this day when I hear that song, I smile and think fondly of those days when I would spend my time preaching to no one in particular, while waiting for my buddies to gather to play ball. Those are the kind of memories that are absolutely priceless!

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Randy Smith can be reached at rsmithsports@epbfi.com
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