Andrew Palau, son of famed evangelist Louis Palau, grew up surrounded by missionaries, evangelists, and men and women of faith. Yet for many years he chose to walk away from the church and all his mother and father held dear.

Pursuing business success on the outside, inside he lived the life of a prodigal, filled with drugs, alcohol and shame. Andrew shares his story about his days as a prodigal and a father’s love in the book The Secret Life of a Fool: One Man’s Raw Journey from Shame to Grace.

Andrew’s prodigal life developed from a young age as he made strings of bad decisions.

“My rebellion took sort of a different form, and I was sort of the weaselly, wormy, follow-the-path-of-least-resistance kind of rebel.”

He continually resisted the call of God because Andrew loved his sin, loved being a prodigal too much. Although there were many instances where Andrew had the chance to turn to God, he never did.  There were several circumstances at camps and conferences when God was tugging on his heart and he considered listening, but he continued to reject and avoid God.

In college he jumped into drugs, alcohol and chasing women.

“I felt like that’s what I was good at and it’s where I found my sense of self-worth and I realized that I started to build this foundation for my life on those most ridiculous things.”

Things that started as fun social activities became traps. Andrew shares that guilt and shame filled his life. He abused alcohol in particular to escape the reality of that guilt and shame.

Given these activities, part of his hesitancy to follow God was the fear of being a hypocrite whose life didn’t align with what he professed. 

Despite it all, God was pursuing Andrew as he shares in the rest of the interview.

The Secret Life of a Fool