A Day For Ryans

February 22, 2024
Volume 28, Number 5

If your name is Ryan, you have only a day or two to get to Austin, Texas. February 24 is the date of the “Ryan Rodeo”. All the details can be found on MeetUp.com. Among the activities will be square dancing, because “you can’t spell country without R-Y”. By the way, if your name is Bryan, don’t bother attending; “Bryans are just B-list Ryans”. They’ll be checking IDs at the door, just to be safe.

What this is really about is an attempt to set a new Guinness World Record for the largest same-name gathering. The current record was set in 2017 when 2,325 people named Ivan gathered in Bosnia and Herzegovinia. Last year the city of Kyle, Texas made an attempt to break the record with a gathering of Kyles but came up short.

It can be amazing to learn how many share our names. Several years ago, I started searching for other Tim Halls on the Internet. I found professional wrestlers, monster truck drivers, race car drivers, etc. – all named Tim Hall. Yes, we shared the same names, but we had little else in common.

Have you ever wondered how God keeps us all sorted out? Or does He? After all, we live in a world populated by just over 8 billion people. If you look around at some of our sports stadiums that hold close to 100,000 spectators, you wonder how you could ever find someone in such a crowded venue. But 100,000 is nothing compared to 8 billion!

In John 10:3 Jesus was using the image of a shepherd to describe how He views His people: “To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls he own sheep by name and leads them out.” Jesus’ “flock” is not as large as the total world population, but I am convinced it numbers in the millions. But that large number doesn’t stop Jesus from knowing His sheep “by name”.

Jesus spoke on another occasion of God’s personal knowledge of individuals: “Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:29-31).

David was comforted by his faith in the amazing personal knowledge of God of his circumstances: “You number my wanderings; put my tears into Your bottle; are they not in Your book?” (Psalm 56:8). Could that be true – that God knows each tear I shed? Does He care that much about me?

I don’t know how many Ryans will show up in Austin, Texas this weekend. I don’t even know how many Tim Halls are in this world. But one thing I know with certainty: God cares deeply for each and every one of us. God is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). What a wonderful God we serve!

Come to the light God offers!  Study His word, the Bible.  Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24).  Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.


Copyright, 2024, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).

“LightGrams” is produced by the Central Church of Christ, 2722 Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, Tennessee, 37601, and is written by Tim Hall, minister. It is sent free of charge every Thursday to all who request it. To subscribe or to receive more information, write to “Tim@GraceMine.org” (our E-mail address), to the U.S. mail address above, or call (423) 282-1571.

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