Jan 30, 2010

Count me in

When Robert Graves arrived at the airport, I wonder if he was surprised to find a dog sled awaiting him. From there, eleven-year-old Brian Coffin picked him up and a team of seven sled dogs drove him to the feast.  The meal was a traditional Inupiat fare of caribou, moose and beaver meat.  The mayor was there to welcome their guest.  It was quite a celebration for this small Inuit community of 650 people.


It is hard for me to imagine that there are still places in the world where the best mode of transportation is the dog sled, and yet if you live in the remote regions of Alaska, what other mode is there?  But since the United States covers this region of the world, special measures are needed.  You see Robert Graves is the Director of the Census and on Tuesday, he arrived in Alaska to kick it off.  The small community of Inupiat Inuit had the honor this year of being the first town to be counted.


For the rest of the United States, the Census won’t begin until February. Then, for the next few months thousands of people will scour the country to identify as many people as possible.  In the last census, only 63 percent of the population responded.  According to the bureau, they’d like to increase that percentage so there will still be conducting interviews face-to-face.


The data from the census are very valuable.  They determine how federal funds are allocated to states and cities.  They determine how many legislators each state is allowed to have.  Since Arizona has grown dramatically over the last ten years, it is possible we might get another representative.  There’s a lot riding on it.


Filling out the census is a civic duty.  Since governments are blessed by God, it is only right that we should stand up and be counted.  At least we don’t have to take our pregnant wife to another town like Mary and Joseph did.


So the process is beginning.  Soon, you will have the opportunity to let your government know that you exist.  You’ll be aggregated by block, tract, and district to let your government know your voting potential.  You’ll become one small grain of sand in the vast oceans of people that live within our borders.


But you should know that you are not just a number to God.  He doesn’t need a team of counters to find you.  He knows the hairs on your head.  You are His most prized possession.  He cared enough to send His Son to meet you face to face.




Pastor David Hook

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