The Gratitude Cure
By Joseph "Rev Run" Simmons
Every day I wake up and I pray. And I have to believe that God is sitting there, listening, responding. This whole faith walk is a very hard walk because you don't see him. You're talking to spirit, and you're hoping and praying that spirit is hearing you and going to respond favorably to your request.
A time in my life when I had to lean on faith to get me through a difficult experience? I have a million of them. Number one is losing the baby [his sixth child] last year. I had to lean on the faith that God was going to restore my family's faith in him, in life.
I had to feed my family a strict diet of thankfulness—for all that God has done and for us not to look to this one incident to shape our hope and faith in God's goodness. And when Run-DMC's DJ, Jam Master Jay (né Jason Mizell), was shot and killed in 2002, that was a very difficult time for me.
[After getting through the grief] I had to use my faith to restore my career. Since I wouldn't be touring with Run-DMC anymore, I looked to God to show me what to do. I had already opened a successful company called Phat Farm Footwear with my brother [hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons], but I hadn't found my niche.
I had to trust that through my tithing and giving, God would create opportunities for me to be able to support my family. I had to find my new way of touching people with my gift—my preaching skills. I enjoy entertainment, and I'm happy that our MTV show, Run's House, is doing well enough that I can continue to express myself in front of people.
So that's my life. I live a life of faith. I've been blessed. I know that God is real because he answers with what I ask for. And when he doesn't give me exactly what I asked for, I have a belief that it must not have been good for me at the time.