My mom used to go to the cemetery to walk the dog, look at the gravestones, and to let us boys learn how to drive. Although not a happy place, the cemetery was a safe place for a new driver. Recently I went to the cemetery to bury a relative. While I was there I noticed something about the gravestones. Typically there is a name, a date of birth, and the date of death.

The way I see it I have two thirds of my stone completed. James D Metsger. April 28, 1978 – I haven’t had much say about the content of my gravestone. I didn’t choose my name. I had no say in the date of my birth. I won’t have any say in the date of my death. Nevertheless, there is one thing I get to decide. I get to decide what happens during the dash and how I respond to it. The dash is my life, the choices I make, the people and causes I invest in. If I choose I can fill the dash with a lot stuff that doesn’t really matter. Or I can decide to use the dash for something that will last.

Something that I want to fill my dash is a passion for God’s design for community. God has created us for community. Gravestones stand alone, but God doesn’t want me to. Sometimes I want to though. I tell myself it’s easier to avoid criticism, hurt, or heartache if I keep to myself. But that’s a lie. God hasn’t wired me that way. And he hasn’t wired you that way either. This isn’t an extrovert or introvert question. It’s a design question. God wants you and me to live life in the context of community.

The second week of October marked the beginning of 242Groups. These groups are designed for people to experience biblical community, renew our minds, and release our strengths into the community. They will be messy at times. They will stretch our people. They will stretch me. Although it may be hard road I’m excited. I know I won’t be traveling alone.