It may not be a precise analogy, but maybe spiritual endeavor is a little like setting the dinner table ... all those knives and forks and spoons and glasses and plates and napkins carefully laid out.
Except for an ego-tripper, the layout itself has no particular meaning or importance. Only when the food arrives does the usefulness spring to life: Only as circumstances arise does spiritual endeavor find its meat-on-the-bone and meaning. If you don't want to make a childish mess, use your knife and fork.
Like the zero which relies on numerical companionship for impact, setting the table is useless of itself.
But put it together with a lamb chop or a bowl of noodles and you're talkin' turkey.