[W]hat if I decided that to each thing I gave up I would attach a certain prayer? God, my fast from desserts today is my prayer for the freedom of the Chinese from religious persecution. The fruit of this small sacrifice is at least two-fold; firstly, it teaches self-denial, which, inasmuch as it teaches contentment, is one secret to true happiness. Secondly, it contextualizes our lesser desires in the larger global story of the pursuit of happiness.
Happiness is many things, but one thing that it is not is the instant fulfillment of our lesser longings. Defining happiness as including pleasure and contentment implies that the two must live in harmony. Pleasure must be tempered by contentment, and contentment must be ready to temper pleasure.
—Oh, Happiness by David Crowder*Band