He’s an American born singer-songwriter. A 3 time Grammy Award winner. He’s won over 50 awards in the music industry. He’s won the lifetime achievement in songwriting award from ASCAP.
He’s also recorded 31 Number 1 hit songs, 14 gold albums, and five platinum albums, starred in 2 films, published 13 books, and is a husband and father to five children.
But, his life wasn’t always a bed of roses.
The son of a Kentucky oil refinery worker, and former minor league baseball player, he developed a love of music through the church he attended with this dad and his mom.
He learned to play piano early, and at age 10, had an “intense spiritual experience” that began his relationship with Christ.
“There’s so many things I love about my life,” he explains. “And, music is one of them.”
He first played drums. Wrote his first song when he was five years old.
“God had a call on my life, and music was supposed to be a part of that,” he says.
His childhood in church “anchored’ him.
But, then life happened.
“When I got to 17 I moved to Nashville, Tennessee to be a songwriter.”
Playing in bars late night, from 1:30 to 5:30 in the morning, he began to be tempted by the lifestyle he was seeing.
HIs life became a mess.
“Little did I know that I was going to be in the biggest pit of my life and feel like there was no escape,” is how he describes these late nights in Music City, USA as a teenager.
From marijuana to cocaine, to LSD, he says he found ways to justify what he was doing, he realized what he was going, but, just couldn’t get out of the mess that he was in.
And he was very depressed.
For three years, he lived this teenaged self-sabotage until, as he describes it, “I had a near-death experience.”
While snorting something he thought was cocaine, he reacted and thought he was going to die.
That’s when he began to pray that God would do whatever He had to do to get his attention.
“I needed to be rescued,” he explains.
Then, one night in November of 79, he was rescued on the kitchen floor at 12:30 am.
Shaking uncontrollably on the kitchen floor, lying in a fetal position and crying like a baby, Michael W. Smith began to cry out for God.
That’s when, as he puts it, “the God of the universe came and wept with me on that floor.”
Since that night, Michael says, “I haven’t been the same since.”
It all changed.
From that point in his life, Michael W. Smith changed his surroundings. He changed friends. He changed his outlook.
Eight months later, he got his first songwriting contract and was getting paid $200 a week to write songs.
Not soon after, “Smitty” got a record deal.
Now, he’s getting paid to write and perform songs. Quickly afterwards, he’s asked to be the opening act for Amy Grant’s new tour.
“I never could have orchestrated any of this,” he says, with a sense of surprise on his face.
“I know now what the real deal is. I know that selling millions of records doesn’t bring you peace,” says this multi-million selling musician.
Michael W. Smith says he knows where his hope lies. “It’s not being a rock star,” says this Christian and pop musician.
He knows that his fame and fortune never lasts. Smitty rests in the confidence that the greatest peace he has is in knowing who he is.
He’s not a lost cause. He’s not a struggling musician lying on the kitchen floor hoping to die in the clutches of a drug-induced near-death experience.
Michael confidently describes who he is when he says “I’m a son of the high king of the universe.”
Michael W. Smith knows who he used to be. And he knows who is is today. And, he knows that, with the resurrection of Jesus Christ, there are #nolostcauses. Not even that teenager shivering, shaking and sobbing on that kitchen floor in the middle of the night just outside of Nasville, Tennessee. Not even you. #nolostcauses