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December 16, 2011

Profiles In The Faith: Andy Andrews

In Orange Beach, Alabama, there stands a pier that will forever have a place in the heart of Andy Andrews.  At age 19, Andy found himself an orphan. He watched his mom die of cancer and his father die in an automobile accident.  Over the course of a few months, Andy was not only an orphan, but he was also a homeless man living underneath the pier on Alabama’s Gulf Coast.

During his time under the pier, a stranger would occasionally challenge Andy to not live his life by chance, but to live it very intentionally. This would lead him on a journey to find out what decisions the great men of history made to leave an enormous impact on the world. After reading more than 200 biographies, Andy discovered seven principles that separate great men from mediocrity.

Those seven principles would do two things- they would lead Andy to find the most important things in life (and out of being homeless) and they would open a world of opportunities for him.  The path would not be easy; it would be filled with setbacks and difficult days, but Andy committed to live by the principles and to make every day count.

Andy would record his story and the seven principles in a book called The Traveller’s Gift (a must read).  It took 51 publisher’s turning down his story before one would even put the book to print.  But today, one of Andy’s 22 books is sold every 60 seconds around the world.  He has been requested by every branch of the military to teach senior leadership and decision making skills to soldiers on the battlefield.  His ability to speak biblical truths in the midst of life’s most practical challenges is extraordinary.

Andy’s name and opportunities travel far beyond that pier in Orange Beach, Alabama, but his home does not.  Andy has committed to living a life that leaves a legacy and teaching his two young boys the keys to making every day count.  Living not far from the pier that was a part of a catalytic moment in his life is a constant reminder and a teaching point for Andy.

Our lives are filled with piers and decisions. Every day we have the opportunity to make decisions that count towards leaving a legacy or to live a mediocre life.  Andy’s story is fascinating.  His commitment is admirable, and his passion is contagious.  As I meet people, I’ve concluded that we are all like Andy.  We have incredible odds stacked for us or against us, but the men we speak about in history decided to live committed and passionate even against all odds.



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