He was known as a brilliant young boy; a child prodigy; the crown jewel of Vienna. By the time he was five years of age, he had written an advanced concerto for the harpsichord. Before he turned ten, he had composed and published several violin sonatas and was playing, from memory, the best works of Bach and Handel. After his twelfth birthday, he composed and conducted his own opera and was awarded an honorary appointment as concert master with the Salzburg Symphony Orchestra.
He died when he was only thirty-five years of age. Before his brief life ended, he had written cantatas, operettas, hymns, oratorios, forty eight symphonies, and over a dozen operas. He wrote around six hundred works in all.
His name was Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Amadeus Theophilus Mozart. With a long name like that, he had to be destined for greatness! He would certainly be made fun of on the playground!
The tragedy is that Mozart fell from his beginnings as a child prodigy to an impoverished, obscure young man. His fall from greatness was so swift and so devastating, that, by the time he died, he had virtually no true friends. He was living in poverty, having wasted his money, and was, for the most part, forgotten. Even his widow was indifferent to his burial and only a few people came to the church for his funeral. Then, because of a sudden storm, they never went to the gravesite. By the time anyone bothered to inquire, the location of his grave was impossible to identify. The unmarked grave of Mozart, who was perhaps the most gifted composer of all time, was lost forever.
What a tragedy to lose such influence, prestige, and wealth; to literally go from riches to rags in a matter of years. What an incredible descent it was.
Stories abound, throughout history, of the rise and fall of individual fortunes and influence. A more recent example would be the brilliant businessman William Durant, who single-handedly created General Motors. It is said that more than fifty men became millionaires by joining his team. Unfortunately, however, through a series of poor decisions, Durant eventually lost much of his fortune and then, control of the company. In spite of all his valiant efforts, he eventually lost his bid for power and went bankrupt. The last job he had, before he died just over sixty years ago, was managing a bowling alley in Flint, Michigan. At the time, he was too poor to own one of the several million cars that had been made by a company that he had built. What an incredible reversal of fortune.
Ladies and gentlemen, all of the stories that history could divulge pale in significance when you consider the story of God the Son. He gave away the splendor of heaven and the adoration of His creation, in order to come down to planet Earth and live like man.