The Ball of String
My parents were children of the depression as were many of yours. As a child, I remember the ball of string kept in a kitchen drawer. String could be saved and recycled for a second use, and so it was. String was not thrown away; it was wrapped up with other bits and kept. When we needed string, it was right there in the kitchen, ready to be reused. So too for aluminum foil. Cleaned and pressed like an old shirt, tin foil was pressed back into the service; recycled again and again.
Younger generations than my own think they invented recycling. They didn't. Families with modest incomes, still recovering from the Depression, and a keen eye for reusing stuff, invented it. We had and needed only one garbage can; very little was thrown away. Food scraps went to the compost pile, empty jars to the basement for fall canning.
Every day was an expression of stewardship. We did not need an annual stewardship emphasis in our family since we had one going on every day of the year. It was, as is now common to say, part of our DNA. It was the air we breathed.
The practice of Christian stewardship, including making a financial pledge to the congregation, began years ago with a ball of string. For this, and for a lifetime of bounty, I give thanks.