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  • Writer's pictureJohn Whitehead

When the Levee Breaks

Life is filled with metaphors which can be used to help us understand a point of view or perspective while using terms and statements we can easily identify with.


I believe Led Zeppelin’s song, “When the Levee Breaks” includes one of those metaphors. Was that the intention of the artist who wrote the song, I am not sure but, the metaphor of the ensuing breaking of the levee speaks clearly to me.


How, might you ask? Well, the levee represents the impending or coming destruction of everything we hold dear, and the reality is there is nothing we can do about it.


You see, as the song says, “when the levee breaks, we have no place to stay”. This points to the reality that the levee, in this case, or whatever you see as vital to your existence may be the only thing holding back the flood or the coming disaster in your life and world.


Many would scoff at this notion simply because they see life as progressing and old systems of thought, religious beliefs and social norms evolving to a better way of living. These people seem to have placed their hopes in the levee and cannot, or will not, even acknowledge the possibility they could be wrong, and their levee may not hold.

I too am an optimist because of my faith in Jesus Christ. Yet, I am also a realist and I understand life as we know it is not sustainable. History has proven that, so this is not an idle statement of a deluded individual.


The levee is going to break. And those who do not have the same assurance my faith has given me; will truly have no place to go.


The song goes on to say, “crying won’t help you and praying won’t do you know good”. This seems so final and harsh, doesn’t it? Well, that is because it is.


The truth is, we all have been given the opportunity to turn our hearts and minds away from the things of this world to a God who wants to provide us a place to go when the levee breaks.


If we have heard this truth and chosen not to accept it, we will have nowhere to go and we will have no one to blame but ourselves.


I can almost feel the hostility this post will be met with by those who have chosen to believe this is their life and they will accept the responsibility for their choices.


The irony of these statements is they are correct.


Another thing anyone who has this perspective must accept is when the levee breaks, or the world they know crumbles around them, “crying won’t help them and praying won’t do them no good”.


We get to choose what we believe, and as Pastor Ryan McDermott of Christ Fellowship in Palm Beach Gardens. FL stated recently, “eternity is too long to make the wrong choice”!


The question I have as I close is, what will you do and where will you go when the levee you are counting on breaks?


Psalm 118:8, “It is better to take refuge in the Lord. Than to trust in man.”


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