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by Brent Nidiffer and Jamie Shell


    At age five, he wrote an advanced concerto for the harpsichord. Before he was ten, he had published several violin sonatas and was playing the best of Handel and Bach from memory. Soon after his twelfth birthday, he composed and conducted his first opera. He was awarded an honorary appointment as concert-master with the Salzburg Symphony Orchestra and within a few years, was hailed as the pride of Salzburg. When he died at the age of thirty-five, he had written forty-eight symphonies, forty-seven arias, duets, and quarters with orchestral accompaniment, and more than a dozen operas. He is credited with some 600 original compositions in all!

    Even so, Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Amadeus Theophilus Mozart lived most of his life in poverty and died in obscurity. His sick widow seemed indifferent about his death. A few friends made it to the church for his funeral, but a storm prohibited their going to the graveside for his burial. The location of his grave thus became virtually impossible to identify. No shrine marks his resting place. Why? Partially because of his excesses that robbed him of relationships and depleted his physical energies, partially because he was ahead of his time with his music.

Mozart’s legacy is his music, not his life.
    For all his faults and excesses, Mozart left behind a legacy that far out lived his contemporaries. Why? He shared his God-given gifts through his music. Mozart’s legacy is his music, not his life. But, imagine how much more powerful Mozart’s influence would have been if he had been less prone to excess and to indiscretion; if he had only learned to deal with human relationships as well as he had the wonderful relationships of notes, harmonies, counter melodies, orchestration, and time signatures. What would have happened if he had lived as well as he composed!

    In Matthew 25:21, Jesus describes the reaction of the Father if we wisely use the gifts, abilities, and resources he entrusted to us: "Well done, thou good and faithful servant:  thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things." God is praising a life of character that utilized the opportunities, gifts, and resources that were shared with them. This person’s understanding of God and his generosity, this person’s willingness to take risks to honor God and his trust, and this person’s faithfulness in handling what was shared earned the Father’s approval: “Well done!”

    The legacy of Mozart is the enduring gift of music he shared and the tragedy of a great talent whose life and personal influence were cut short by his own failures. What we share with others of our talent, creativity, resources, energy, insight, love... is only part of the legacy we leave behind. The other part will be found in the people we impact, and those we impact through our influence upon them. Let’s couple the use of our gifts and our character together. Let’s live today, using what God has given to us and entrusted in us, so that our legacy is, “Well done!”

      Copyright (c) 2001, Timely Truths Ministries. Used by permission.
      Title: ""
      Author: Brent Nidiffer and Jamie Shell
      Publication Date: June 8, 2001


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