I believe that everything we do is a crucial part of our existence. Every single thing! Every single breath we take instigates the next and every breath is unquestionably dependent on the previous one. The Zen Chef Edward Espe Brown takes it to the extent of suggesting one only peels potatoes while peeling potatoes and doing just that and nothing more.
Focusing on the great importance of minimal, apparently unimportant things in our so-called daily life, is a reflection of our respect towards the essence of life and it dictates how we develop and how healthy we stay. Our existence goes far beyond and way before our biological state and our physical condition in general. The attention, respect and care we give to everything we do is more important for our well-being than any vision of a thereafter, for it pertains to what we do NOW. And if any mind or heart wishes to opt for what religions offer for the future, how can any hereafter be fruitful, beautiful and balanced, if we do not mind our present, if we do not have the mindset of wholesomeness before reaching any future existence?
Indeed, a cigar might be just a cigar, a tobacco pipe just a tobacco pipe, a potato just a potato, but I believe it requires some arrogance and/or ignorance to claim that any of these be irrelevant and our daily attitude toward them meaningless.