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Ad Pictures Life on the Border Patrol

One of the popular ads for the 2011 Super Bowl was a Coca Cola commercial that pictures two sentries from different nations guarding a gate at a dusty border crossing. The border crossing is in the middle of nowhere, a hot, vast wilderness with neither grass nor trees nor vehicle traffic, but only brown dirt. Two small sentry shacks stand on opposite sides of the dirt road.

The two scowling sentries march back and forth across the width of the road on opposite sides of the gate, wearing 1800s-style military uniforms and carrying swords. Soon a piece of paper blows across the border. One sentry draws his sword, pierces the paper, and—face to face with his counterpart—he contemptuously flings it back across the border where it came from. Both sentries resume marching.

Then comes a surprising thaw in this grim border patrol. One of the sentries pulls a bottle of Coke from an ice chest and takes a drink. The other sentry watches longingly. The sentry with the Coke pulls another bottle from the chest and offers it to him. They both tip their heads back and drink deeply. They smile. For a brief, unguarded moment they smile faintly at each other—but then they catch themselves and restore the hardened, threatening expressions of enemies guarding their boundaries. And the march at the border continues.

This is a vivid picture of what our relationships can become when we bear a grudge, or when we think more about our rights than about God's will.

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