This short chapter has a few interesting themes that stimulate. The first has to do with this idea about the Thernardiers progressing toward wickedness.

“There are souls that, crablike, crawl continually toward darkness, going backward in life rather than advancing, using their experience to increase their deformity, growing continually worse, and becoming steeped more and more thoroughly in an intensifying viciousness.” – Hugo

I consider the end game: What sort of man will I become when I am old? The types include stubborn and stern, unproductive and passive, warm and kind. The direction of my life’s flow is taking me there now, and what I am practicing to be now will largely determine whether I finish well, or whether I crawl toward darkness. I will attempt a rewrite of the paragraph above in its antithesis:

There are souls that, foal-like, stumble constantly toward light, falling forward in life rather than playing it safe and retreating, using their experience to increase their faith, growing in love, and becoming steeped more and more thoroughly in the hope and character of Jesus. – Wendel

So now, I must work on my integrity and surrender my anxiety. I must listen and love well and resist pride. I must resist the flesh and contemplate the eternal. All for the adventure and beauty of the journey, and for the joy of the end game.