Summer camps, internships, family vacations, and those high school jobs we left in our hometowns begin to surface as the middle of the spring semester approaches. You may be asking yourself, “What is the best way for me to spend my summer?” And luckily, I’ve got an answer for you! Since this is a blog post for Mountain Project, I bet you thought I was going to say “Go to Mountain Project!”
Plot twist… I’m not! Actually, I believe the answer for the best way for you to spend your summer is found in the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:33.
“But, Seek first the Kingdom of Heaven and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.”
In the fall semester of my sophomore year, my sweet dad called me up and said, “Hey there’s a record label in D.C. and they want to hear you sing. They are flying us out next weekend!” So I drove home to Nashville and hopped a flight with my dad to Washington D.C.
The time came for the label to hear me so I climbed into the recording booth and played an original song on my guitar. When I came out of the booth, they said, “Your voice brings so much comfort and peace and I think others need to hear it, we’d like to sign you to our label.” I was in so much shock and the little girl inside me that used to dance around pretending to be Shania Twain’s dreams came true.
Over the next day, they began to ask me what kind of music I was most passionate about and other questions that would define me as an artist. Through these questions, I began to have a bit of an identity crisis. I knew I wanted to sing “good” songs that had positive messages, but I didn’t really know who I was and it began to scare me. All of my dreams were coming true but I had no real foundation, so I paused the record deal by using the excuse that I wanted to finish college and get my degree first. Upon leaving the record label, we came to the agreement that I could potentially move back there in the summers to begin writing and recording.
A couple of months later the love of Christ compelled me to surrender my life to Him, and I found my true identity in a relationship with God. I was filled with a joy, that was unexplainable and began to discover this new purpose of enjoying God, knowing Him and making Him known.
That spring semester I began to grow as a new Christian in a community of other believers and my heart began to grow for the friends I had that didn’t know Christ. I was torn on how to spend my summer! I was just offered my dream… A RECORD DEAL! Thankfully, the Lord brought a sweet sister into my life that spoke the words of Matthew 6:33 over me on a Sunday afternoon lunch at Cheddars. She said, “Amanda Jo, Seek first the kingdom…”
So I asked myself “How could I seek first the kingdom this summer and even more so for the rest of my life…?”
As I saw where I was at as a young new believer and what the Mountain Project had to offer, and what Christ had done for me….the decision was a no-brainer!
I needed to be equipped in how to read God’s Word, how to share my faith with those around me, how to walk with Christ alongside a community of believers… and MP would prepare me to do these things while a record deal really wouldn’t.
You may think I’m crazy and ask, “Do you regret turning down that record deal and going to Mountain Project?” And what I would say is not for a single second have a regretted it. You will never regret Seeking first His Kingdom. It was at MP where I first learned about the life of suffering that we will face which has carried me through the recent loss of my dad. It was at MP where I learned about persevering and long-suffering for the gospel which kept me on my knees in prayer for my mom’s salvation (who gave her life the Christ last year). It was at MP where I gained clarity about God’s love for His Church and the local church where I had years of harbored bitterness and confusion. It was at MP where I learned how to tell my sorority sisters about Jesus and we were blessed enough to see many confess Christ over the years. It was at MP where I learned about what it means to be a woman after God’s own heart. It was at MP where I fell more in love with Jesus.
There are a lot of great summer opportunities to choose from: promising internships, fun summer camps, previous jobs and 9 weeks spent at Mountain Project. Choosing which of these options can be difficult, but I am confident that as you study Matthew 6:33, and pray, the Lord will make it clear to you which decision will cause you to truly “Seek first the kingdom.”