In the Swimming Pool

I was given a handout from YouthAlpha to reflect on:

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If the water is our Relationship with God then who are we in this pool diagram?

  1. Girl in doorway — Is interested in God but allowed herself to get distracted
  2. Girl distracting the girl in doorway — Ignorant that God is there, just doing her own thing.
  3. Muscle man — Has no interest in God; can’t see or worship anyone but himself.
  4. White slumpy guy – Is aware of God but worried about engaging in any relationship with Him. He is in no way prepared.
  5. Black guy next to white slumpy guy — Is is aware of God but indifferent.
  6. Angry guy reading newspaper — Is aware of God and perhaps used to have a relationship with Him but because of all the suffering that happens in the world that he reads about he is angry with God and so has purposely blocked him out and decided against Him. (He’s supposed to be the lifeguard but is completely ignoring the pool)
  7. Multi-tasking multi-devices guy — Thought about having a relationship with God but became so distracted and too busy to do anything other than realize that God is there.
  8. Guy timidly putting foot in pool — Wants to have a relationship with God but is scared of what it means. He is timid, unsure, and could use a friend to encourage him into the pool. He is wearing so many floatation devices because he does not yet trust God. He’s got one toe in and is too scared to go further or deeper in relationship.
  9. Janitor — ??? Watching everyone else ignore or engage with God and is just waiting to clean up after people leave the pool? So he is there to clean up the mess people make after they get out of a relationship with God?? [This is the one character I don’t understand at all.]
  10. Shivering girl in towel — She had a relationship with God but something happened and she got scared and decided to get away from God.
  11. Snorkel smiley man — Happy to have God there but working on getting closer too Him.
  12. Diving board man — Super excited to jump into his relationship with God, but he hasn’t yet taken the leap to actually being in a relationship with Him.  
  13. Drowning person — Decided to have a relationship with God but once in it he feels like he is drowning. [I don’t fully get this one.]
  14. Handstand man — Is really enjoying his relationship with God and so is trying to be fully immersed with God.
  15. Swimming man — Is really enjoying his relationship with God and so is actively being a part of his relationship. He is the only one using the pool to its fullest potential — because he is swimming around just enjoying all dimensions of the pool (though he is only in his own lane, so perhaps he shouldn’t restrict himself?) He has kicked off his sandals and is just lapping it up.
  16. Calm lady — Is really in love with God and is calm in the experience. She is content to have a personal relationship with God and so is just staying in His presence for as long as she can. But her eyes are closed and she isn’t seeing anyone else or engaging with anyone else in the pool.

I am #16 (calm lady) and am growing more towards also being #15 (swimming man). In some ways and for somethings I am like #12 (diving board man) and ready to jump more fully into relationship but haven’t done it yet. At times I risk being like #7 (multi-tasking man) — getting distracted by all the busyness of life and what gets me away from a complete relationship with God. But I’m definitely in the pool doing something.


  1. I showed this at a staff meeting and tried to think of all the possible situations they would be in and changed a few.
    Janitor: knows that God is real but chooses not to engage or think about it. Everytime he is told something or sees something that proves God’s existence, he denies it and ‘mops’ it away.
    Person drowning: In a relationship with God but feels they are drowning as they are caught up in religion, trying to please God and buy their way to heaven. Need to realise God’s grace is sufficient.
    Calm lady: the silent Christian. Knows God but does not attend church or any other Christian activity. Doesn’t ever tell people about her faith and most people do not know she is a believer.
    Typing man: Calls himself an atheist but is looking into the meaning of life and what, if there is anything to believe in.
    Men at side: One is looking at the ‘crazy believers in the pool’ and telling the other guy how silly it all is and that he shouldn’t believe in it either. He tries to push Christianity down. The other man believes their is a God but feels influences by his friend to forget about it.
    Snorkel man: Knows there is God but hasn’t or doesn’t think there is anything he needs to do about that. Is not yet in a relationship (because he’s not in the pool), but is thinking about what he needs to do.


    1. I love all of these insights! Thank you so much for sharing your interpretation! You make many great points, but the one that stands out to me the most is the ‘calm lady’ — and how true it can be that if you are content in your own relationship with God you may forget that you are called to SHARE that you are a believer and DO something other than just idly sit. There’s a time and place for sitting calmly in your love for God and being silent, but there’s also a time when you are called to open your eyes, speak up, and act.


    2. Thank you Naomi for sharing what this image speaks to you! I really like your thoughts on the janitor. And great insight into the calm lady — you’re right she is just sitting there content with herself vs sharing who she is with others.


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