Dagorhir has helped me to mature.

I'm serious.

First of all, it's given me more context than I would have had otherwise for the whole concept of spiritual warfare and triumphing and all those other semi-archaic notions that are tangled up in real, face to face fighting. Granted, we go out and hit each other with foam and pvc pipe and fiberglass held together with ductape and dap, but it's taught me a lot more than I knew before.

I've learned about working with people on your team: how to communicate, how to delegate, how to obey, how to strategize, and how to relax and just jump in without much of a plan.

I've learned about trusting people, about reading people, about getting to know them. It's pretty difficult to hide your character on the battlefield, because you get beaten and you get hot and cold and irritated and bashed in the head and sometimes no one asks how you are. It tends to bring out the worst in people. And it also brings out the best, when people who are really dissimilar work together and win a battle, pull off something they'd never done before, say something really stupid and really hilarious, and there is a shining moment of totally unexpected fellowship. It's easier to trust people who you've fought with.

It's easier to serve with them, too. I learned that the first spring on a missions trip. We were used to working together, used to depending on each other.

Dag's taught me about leadership, about how you can simultaneously hate something with your whole self, until you scream when people mention the word, and also love it so desperately that you lose all kinds of other opportunities to try to hold it together. How you get tied down by responsibilities and how those responsibilities grow and fill all the space available in your life and spill over into unavailable space, but they're ties that make you who you are, ones that are for your good. I stand in the tension-filled position now of watching a new generation of Dag'ers come in, and building relationships with them -- the old leaders did that for me, and those are still friends I run to -- and giving them space to find their own way.

And that's part of why I love Dag.


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