When you slowly meditate through the biblical book of Proverbs, one thing stands out: nothing is more valuable in life than the acquisition of wisdom. This is an analytic truth, as seen on Proverbs 4:7:
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom.
Though it cost all you have, get understanding.
Wisdom is more valuable than money or material things. It is greater than any possible accomplishments and awards. The pursuit of wisdom is a far better investment than going after happiness.
When I read the word "wisdom," I think of things like this.
Wisdom is something deep. In the soul. Wisdom is something to be "fathomed." Fools run a mile wide and an inch deep. The wise take their inch and dig a mile down.
Wisdom comes to the elderly, if they invest a lifetime in its acquisition. A child cannot be wise. A child may say something that is wise, but it does not come out of a soul that runs deep. You can be young and relatively smart, but you cannot be young and wise.
Old people are not necessarily wise. It all depends on what they went after in life. A person can be old and a total fool. Thus, a long life (the longer the wiser) is necessary but not sufficient when it come to gaining wisdom. Their life must be spent in a certain way. It must be spent on the things necessary for gaining wisdom.
This is why the church needs "elders." Old people, who have spent a lifetime loving God, worshiping God, desiring God, serving God, praying, meditating on Scripture, and active in community. These are people stripped of performance-ability and steeped in understanding-ability. They have knowledge from experience, not from books. These are the most valuable people in the Church, otherwise the ship of fools will run aground.