Stay In Your Lane During Wartime: It’s a Long and Winding Road to Your True Calling

I’m never sure what to say when world events are so intense and the words of an ordinary children’s author from West Virginia on social media feel so unnecessary. “Stay in your lane,” I tell myself. And that’s good advice. We probably need far fewer experts on the “out there” and more people living faithfully “right here.” The world very rarely needs “my take.” The last several years of seemingly ceaseless punditry from every citizen on a mission has been tedious and exhausting, not to mention ineffective or counterproductive. The “not many of you should become teachers” line from St. James comes to mind. “Stay in your lane” is usually pretty good advice. I’m usually choosing to. 

So, while ordinary men kissed their wives and children and turned to fight to protect their homeland from invasion, I wrote. I wrote thousands and thousands of words—in private—on a story that I’ve been working on for many months with my son. I kept at it while a new war in Europe intensified and drew the attention of the world. 

Though it feels relatively unimportant, I think creating and sharing soul-forming stories is of great long-term value. My lane is an avenue that goes straight through the hearts of children God made and loves and intends for his kingdom of light. No small thing. It’s a good little lane. So I write on, focusing on this little job “right here” that goes—by some rare magic—far from my presence and into the lives of precious children I’m called to serve all over the world. 

This new book is about conflict, and standing up to evil men, about showing up for the good fight you’re in and being faithful and brave. All of my Green Ember books are about this. I hope and pray this one also inspires those who read it to live out those ancient virtues in the “real world.” I hope it is a gift to ordinary people living “right here” in their lives and that has an impact for good “out there” in some way. 

Maybe your lane seems small, or insignificant. I bet it isn’t. You don’t have to be a geopolitical expert, an epidemiologist, a pastor, a prophet, or a therapist, unless that’s your calling—your lane. I bet your lane leads—maybe in the long and winding way—to places of deep significance and service to the people, be they millions or very few, who God has called you to love. 

Show up for that. Be ruthless about ignoring all those enticing “shortcuts” to self-expression, seeming-expertise, and shallow impact. They are almost always lies. Take the long cut. Enjoy your lane.


  1. As C. S. Lewis wrote above, we aren’t living in a normal world. It lost it’s normalcy in the Garden of Eden, and we can look forward to the day that Jesus returns the world to that normal. Soon and very soon, Maranatha.

    God Bless!

  2. SO beautifully said! I often think that my lane is unimportant, mundane, but I know God has to have a bigger purpose in it. I’ve seen him use my testimony to help other teens through online communities (New Seddleton being one of them) and I always feel blessed when somehow I’m able to comfort or relate or understand.
    As my brother likes to say, People are crazy, I think he may be right. When we lose sight of God and focus on ourselves and personal gain we do come across as a little crazy. In a world that full of unrest I will strive to stay in my lane. To share my testimony, publish my stories, and most importantly live my life for my Savior! Thank you so much for the words of wisdom Master Smith.
    ~Kaytlin P.

  3. It can be easy to believe that the path you are walking on is unimportant, but we all should remember that God has made everything beautiful in its own time (Ecclesiastes 3:11) and that at some point along the way, we will find that even the little things we do mean so much. God has given us our gifts, and using them is far from unimportant!
    Don’t try to change the world, or win the war–God has already done that! Instead, focus on what you can do with the tasks He has set before you, trusting Him every step of the way. And somewhere down this winding road, you’ll find that THAT was exactly what you needed to do.

  4. Thank you for posting Mr. Sam Smith,
    I hope you will be writing more books soon.
    I am also happy to be getting a copy of your new book,
    Prince Lander And The Dragon War!

    Have a God blessed day!
    Ashlyn K.R.

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