The second lesson that J.S. Bach so wonderfully displays is that of passion.
He had a passion that drove him to create a vast amount of music, more than most composers would be able to create in two or three lifetimes. So what drove him in this quantity and quality of output? Was it fame? Was it the hope of fortune?
No one knew of Bach like we know him today, until he was rediscovered many years later after his death. He obviously was not motivated by fame. His employers apparently had little understanding of the greatness of his work, criticizing him as having been unproductive, when in fact he had produced in a period of seven years what most composers would have been glad to produce in a lifetime.
His income was barely sufficient to meet the needs of his family.
His musical resources were comparatively limited to other musicians living in that same time-period. When he asked for a few more hired musicians, he was scoffed at and ridiculed.
By comparison, most of us music ministers today have it easy!
So what motivated him? How did he keep going in the midst of the lack of appreciation and misunderstanding?
It was his vision and his faith. He had a vision to bring to God in worship music of superior quality. He wasn't content to give God second best in his creativity, and he wasn't content to just let church be average. Along with this, his personal integrity and expectation of himself was commensurate with the godly Christian values of a work-ethic not based on pleasing man, but on pleasing God. To him it didn't matter if man revered him or disdained him, because it wasn't man he was ultimately working for.
As prayer and worship are integral to the Christian faith, so was the act of composing for Bach. When he wrote, he wasn't just making something to get by for the next event, rather, it was prayer and worship for him. When he wrote, he was touching his very relationship with God. His creativity was prayer and worship, and he participated in it on a daily basis.
Many scholars of his work are amazed by the complexity of pattern and design. I believe the supernatural touch of God through this interaction of prayer and worship is key to the genius that is evident in his music.
In conclusion, the second lesson that I have for you is this: Don't be swayed by the opinions of man, but rather stay true to your inner convictions which, through a relationship with God, will give you passion and unshakeable vision for the future.