Dr. Richard Hornberger had attained success in nearly every endeavor — as a physician, a surgeon, a husband and a father. Yet there was one thing this dedicated doctor from Waterville, Maine still longed for, and that was to write. Though accustomed to saving lives daily as a surgeon, Dr. Hornberger felt called to share the story of his time serving in the Korean War.
He began writing during the few sporadic moments he could carve out of his busy schedule, carefully crafting a tale of laughter and sorrow from his stint with the 8055th MASH unit. After months of diligent work, Dr. Hornberger completed his manuscript. But despite his surgical skills, writing success eluded him. Publisher after publisher rejected his book.
After 17 rejections, Dr. Hornberger faced deep disappointment. His dream of sharing this pivotal time in his life seemed impossible. Where he expected a receptive audience, he found closed door after closed door. The repeated rejection stung, yet the accomplished doctor was determined to persevere. He picked himself up, submitted his manuscript once more, and much to his surprise the 18th publisher accepted it!
Dr. Hornberger’s book, under the pen name Richard Hooker, was released as MASH in 1968. Though he originally sought no fame, just the chance to share his memories, the novel brought him worldwide renown. MASH inspired a blockbuster film and an 11-season TV series cherished by millions.
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” — Romans 8:28
Beginnings, no matter how imperfect, can lead to significant outcomes. Even when rejection comes, we can trust that God knows how to bring beautiful things from our imperfect starts. Our role is simply to remain faithful and keep committing ourselves to Him. Nothing is impossible with the Lord of the universe by our side.
Lord, thank You for taking my simple efforts and making them great. Help me never to give up on the dreams You’ve placed in my heart, even when the path seems blocked. With You, all things are possible. Please work through me to create beautiful things that glorify You.