Faith & Fandom
Into the Spiderverse: How Will I Know When I Am Ready?
My relationship with Spiderman has come a long way since I
began this journey. When I started the first book, I couldn’t
stand Spiderman. I skipped both Andrew Garfield movies, and I
had pretty much accepted I was done with giving the web-
slinger any attention. Then came Tom Holland, Civil War,
Homecoming, and a general upswing in my warmth level for
Spiderman. The Spiderman game being a Playstation exclusive
almost tipped me back in the negatives, but I was happy for my
friends on the other side of the console street. Even with my
newfound pseudo friendship with Spidey, I wasn’t ready for
Into the Spiderverse. My daughters let me know after the first
preview how excited they were for the film, and I knew I would
be in theatres opening night long before I knew any details
about the film. What I didn’t expect was to be thoroughly
blown away by not only the best Superhero movie of 2018, but
in my opinion, the best Spiderman movie ever made. I enjoyed
the movie so much — like making **thwip** noises in the
parking lot enjoyed it. I also wasn’t ready for how good and
infectious the soundtrack was.
One of the biggest things that stood out to me was the concept
of being ready. As the movie is steamrolling near its third act
and prepping for the climax, we see that Miles is still hanging
on to the other Spiderfolk as a crutch and has yet to fully let go
and embrace his powers. His insecurities are far more evident
than his abilities. To be fair, he didn’t exactly have a long time
to get this all together, and it was a lot to deal with in a short
time. He wasn’t moving at the pace the world around him
needed him to move. Once they are deep in the Spiderlair, he
is bombarded by all his cross dimensional counterparts as they
impatiently demand he rise up and show his abilities. We may
not be faced with people punching us and telling us to turn
invisible on command, but it is easy to let our circumstances
make us think we aren’t capable of actually rising up to meet
When Miles was overwhelmed with anxiety and frustration at
his circumstances, he did what many of us do. He ran away.
Sometimes, it’s hard to live up to what other’s expect for you
to be, or to accomplish. Even when they are encouraging you,
it can still be a daunting task to believe it for yourself. Miles is
far from the first person to deal with this problem.
Back in the time of Exodus, Moses and Miles had a lot of
Exodus 3: 10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to
bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”11 But
Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to
Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” 12 And
God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to
you that it is I who have sent you: When you have
brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God
on this mountain.” 13 Moses said to God, “Suppose I go
to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your
fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is
his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”
Moses was told by God that he was God’s chosen instrument
to free Israel, and Moses responded with “are you sure I'm the
right one?” Then after God reassured him, Moses clapped back
with “but what if they don’t know who You are?” Just like with
Miles & Moses, our insecurities can make our abilities, calling,
and effectiveness seriously seem questionable. The people in
Miles’ life weren’t exactly instilling confidence with their
interactions, but Moses literally had the creator of the universe
telling Him he was enough, sadly Moses was still not prepared
to accept this truth.
Moses goes on in chapter 4:1 to flex his insecurities before his
creator “Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or
listen to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?” He
was so bound up in his own shortcomings and how others
would perceive his calling that he couldn’t accept that God told
him he was ready. God was so gracious to him though, and
continued to give him the assistance he needed to be ready.
God prepared him with signs and miracles and told him step by
step what he needed to do, but it wasn’t enough.
Picking up in Exodus 4:10,
“10 Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I
have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since
you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech
11 The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their
mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives
them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12
Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to
13 But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please
send someone else.”
Even with God himself offering to literally back Moses each
step of the way, he still wasn’t ready. Miles was in a less
omnipotent but equally supported situation. Miles had six
different Spiderfolk, plus Aunt May, pouring life,
encouragement, and support in him. Yet in spite of that, he
couldn’t rise above his own insecurities enough to become the
hero he needed to be. Finally faced with an ultimatum to rise
up or be left behind, his squad left him alone and tied to a
chair because he wasn’t ready to be the hero he was meant to
be. Before they were gone, Miles asked older and fatter Peter,
“When will I know I'm ready?” Peter responded with the
seemingly not so helpful but entirely true statement.
“You won’t. It’s a leap of faith.
That’s all it is Miles, a leap of faith.”
Moses wasn’t tied to a chair with webbing, but he was bound
up in fear and insecurity. He wasn’t willing to accept who God
said He was. He wasn’t willing to become the man he was
called to be. Like Miles, he wasn’t ready to take the leap of
faith. Sadly, that’s where many of us live our day to day lives.
God has called us. God has enabled us. God has equipped us.
But at the end of the day, we aren’t willing to take the leap of
Let’s leave Miles tied in a chair for a second and look at how
God responded to Moses. Exodus 4:14 says, “Then the Lord’s
anger burned against Moses and he said... “
Wait. Stop. Hold on a second.
You read that? After God gave Moses the help, supernatural
backing, and direct instructions that he needed to succeed,
Moses still cowered, and God’s anger burned against Moses.
God had every right to be angry, and whatever way God
wanted to manifest His anger would have been justified. Yet as
we keep reading, seriously keep in mind that at this point, God
is burning with anger towards Moses.
“...what about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he
can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you,
and he will be glad to see you. 15 You shall speak to him
and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak
and will teach you what to do. 16 He will speak to the
people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth
and as if you were God to him. 17 But take this staff in
your hand so you can perform the signs with it.”
Moses gave God excuse after excuse, and then still told God
no. God, in turn, gave Moses more grace, and compromised to
meet Moses where he was with his fears and insecurities. Even
in the midst of God’s burning anger, He poured out grace,
encouragement, and strength. Know that there is never going
to be a time that God is going to ignore you when He calls you.
When you are scared, even to the point of angering God, He
loves you and has your back.
Even when Peter was sidelining Miles, the whole spider squad
was waiting outside hoping that he would rise to the occasion.
He let them down in that moment, but after a short one-sided
pep talk from his dad and a costume change later, he was
ready to finally make his leap. Having help and encouragement
is helpful, but at the end of the day when the moment counts,
it boils down to you. Are you going to walk in fear and let your
circumstances and insecurities dictate your actions, or are you
going to take a leap of faith?
Moses took his baby steps, but he eventually rose up and took
his leap. We are living in the faith and history that followed
that leap. Miles rose up and saved the multiverse. There’s
going to come a point in your story where you will be able to
look back and see what you accomplished because you
stopped walking in fear and actually took the leap. What story
do you want to be able to tell when you stopped waiting to be
“ready” and started living in the strength and power God has
Jack Canfield is credited with the statement, “Everything you
want is on the other side of fear.” I don’t know about
everything you want, but I can tell you that if fear is standing
between you and anything God is calling you to do, you’re
going to want to be on the other side of it. There is nothing
stopping you from getting to the place God is calling you to,
except your own ability to trust Him.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD
your God will be with you wherever you go." - Joshua
Don’t wait to be ready. Trust where God is leading you. Step
up, look your fear in the face, and say, “What’s up danger?”
Then, take the leap.