The famous inventor Samuel Morse dreamed of one day becoming a great painter. He even travelled to Paris in the pursuit of his dream. Years before, his preacher father, Jedidiah Morse, had counselled him, using the words of the Earl of Chesterfield: ‘Attend to one thing at a time. The steady and undissipated attention to one object is the sure mark of a superior genius.’ As a result, Morse threw himself into painting. But after a series of setbacks, he finally abandoned it. The crushing moment came when he lost the appointment to paint a historic mural at the capital in Washington, D.C., and he gave up painting entirely.
Writing about Samuel Morse in his book The Greater Journey, historian David McCullough says: ‘He must attend to one thing at a time, his father had preached. The “one thing” henceforth would be his telegraph… Had he not stopped painting when he did, no successful electromagnetic telegraph would have happened when it did, or at least not a Morse electromagnetic telegraph.’
Relatively late in his career, Samuel Morse gave up painting to focus on inventing the telegraph and also, eventually, a language called Morse Code that transformed how the world communicates. The Bible says, ‘Remember the Lord your God. He is the One who gives you power to be successful.’
And here’s the good news—there’s no age limit with God! He can give you success at the beginning, in the middle, or at the very end of your life. But in order to grasp the thing at which you will succeed, you must be willing to let go of the thing at which you have failed.